not your usual mac & cheese

Often when I'm meal planning for the week I will try one new recipe to add to my go-to recipes.  Some are hits and some are misses.  This was a pleasant surprise.  I wasn't sure if the kids would go for it since it had a strong, distinct flavor but they liked it.  Let's be honest, anything with bacon is good.  I haven't ever cooked with fontina cheese so it was a bit of an experiment.  If you want a little twist on good ol mac and cheese, try this!

Bacon and Pea Macaroni & Cheese
8 oz penne or macaroni pasta
8 oz frozen peas
4 thick slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used fat free greek)
Dash of hot sauce
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz fontina (or other melt friendly cheese- not more cheddar)
Salt & Pepper

1.  Cook bacon in oven on a cookie sheet. 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  This is the only way I do bacon now and it's way less mess.
2.  Cook pasta in salted water for 8-10 minutes.
3.  Add the peas to the pasta water in the last minute of cooking.
4.  Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta and peas.
5.  Return the pasta and peas to pot.
6. Add 1/4 cup pasta water (it must be hot), the yogurt, a few dashes of hot sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.
7. Stir in the remaining cheese, one small handful at a time to prevent clumping.
8. Add additional pasta water as necessary to thin and melt the cheese sauce (1/4 to 1/2 cup).
9.  Season with salt and pepper. 
10.  Add the bacon, mix well and enjoy!

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