I have made many a Mac n Cheese (Gruyere Broccoli, Almost Fire Version, Jalapeno Bacon) and it is probably the cornerstone of my culinary career. For Easter, it was requested that I make mac n cheese and I wanted to use the basic foundation and switch it up a bit so I added jalapeno which is an old and common friend, and introduced a new ingredient in pancetta.
I went to Penn Mac where many of our ingredients come from and got colby for it’s color, taste, and price. I also got pancetta which is a little costly but is spread across a whole tray that feeds a dozen or more people. I have never used pancetta before, but Eileen used it before in a tomato vodka sauce. I prepped the ingredients by shredding the cheese and cubing the pancetta.
Those are pieces of the pepper seasoning in the pancetta, not dirt. I then browned the pancetta until it was fairly crisp and added it to the mixture that was otherwise ready to head to the casserole dish.
Then bake at the magical temp of 350 for about 20-30 minutes. I refrigerated this for a day or two and then baked so I went more toward the 30 minutes than the 20. It was wonderful and I definitely went for the jalapeno side!