tasty tuesday ~ bobby flay's mac and cheese carbonara

The cheese, the thyme, the red pepper flakes...beyond yummy!
This recipe is from Bobby's new cookbook Throwdown. The book is packed with fabulous recipes from his successful Food Network show of the same title. We are big Flay fans in my house. He is all about flavors that pack a punch. This recipe is Flay's winner from the Macaroni and Cheese throw down.  

Bobby is a Go big or go home kinda guy. He has packed each layer of this pasta dish with complex flavor and insurmountable richness. How can it not be anything but spectacular with five different types of cheese?? It will make you wanna slap your Momma it's that good! With a back note of heat from the cayenne pepper along with the freshness of the thyme, this dish just sings. Of course a little pancetta never hurt anything either! You will not be eating this recipe on your South Beach Diet that's for sure but for the occasional splurge...go baby go!

Celebrate the Feast!
 This weeks recipe is being shared with Balancing Beauty and Bedlam , Full Plate @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Raising Homemakers , Delicious Dishes, Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, The King's Court IV, Tuesdays at the Table, 33 Shades of Green as well as Frugality and Crunchiness w/ Christy! Head on over to their blogs and check out other fabulous recipes.
whole wheat pasta eased my calorie guilt a lttle...a very little.
Bobby Flay's Macaroni and Cheese Carbonara
From Bobby Flay's Throwdown, by Bobby Flay, with Stephanie Banyas and Miriam Garron

Unsalted butter, for the baking dish
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1-inch-thick) slice pancetta, cut into small dice
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk, or more if needed, hot
4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) grated Asiago cheese, plus more for the top
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Irish white cheddar, plus more for the top
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated American cheddar, such as Goot Essa Mountain Valley, plus more for the top
1 cup (4 ounces) grated aged fontina cheese, plus more for the top
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for the top
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked just under al dente
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10 by 10 by 2-inch baking dish and set it aside.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.

Add the garlic to the fat in the pan and cook until light golden brown, 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk, raise the heat to high, and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the eggs until incorporated and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the thyme, cayenne, and all the different cheeses until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture appears too thick, add additional warm milk, 1/4 cup at a time.

Put the cooked macaroni in a large bowl, add the cheese sauce, reserved pancetta, and the parsley, and stir until combined. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Combine an additional 1/4 cup each of Asiago, cheddars, fontina, and Parmesan in a bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake until the dish is heated through and the top is a light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for

10 minutes before serving.