Carbonara Mac and Cheese

Wisconsin parmesan and Wisconsin Grand Cru cheese work together with pancetta to recreate Carbonara in mac and cheese form.

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Servings: 8


  • 1 pound fusilli
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten in small bowl
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin Grand Cru Cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1 1/4 cups Wisconsin parmesan cheese, grated and divided
  •   Salt and black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente; drain and set aside. Add one teaspoon olive oil to large sauté pan and place over medium heat. When oil is hot, add pancetta and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes. Remove pancetta with spoon and transfer to bed of paper towels to drain. Set aside.

Add onion to same sauté pan and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Place garlic and thyme over the onions and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add butter and melt. Once melted, mix in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and whisk in milk until mixture has thickened, about 4- 6 minutes. Add a few teaspoons of warm milk mixture to bowl with egg yolks and whisk. Add egg-milk mixture back to pan and mix until completely combined.

Turn off heat and add Dijon mustard, 1 cup Grand Cru and 1 cup parmesan. Add salt to taste and mix well. In large bowl, add pancetta, pasta and cheese mixture. Toss together until pasta is evenly coated. Transfer to a 13”x 10” casserole dish and sprinkle top with remaining cheese and freshly cracked pepper. Transfer to oven and bake 12-15 minutes, until top is melted. Serve immediately.

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Use caution when adding cheese to the sauce–add over low heat or off-heat. Too high a heat can cause separation and toughness.