21 Apr PINOT NOIR PAIRING – BACON AND CHEDDAR CHEESE BAKED PENNE
Serves 6-8 as a main or 10-12 as a side
¾ pounds bacon
1 pound mini penne pasta
½ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups firmly packed aged shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 1/2 lb.)
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup butter
12 saltine crackers crushed
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for salting the pasta water
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425°.
Place bacon on sheet tray, making sure to lay it flat and bake for 12-15 minutes until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Once cooled enough to handle chop into desired size.
Lower oven temperature to 350°.
Bring a medium (6 to 8-quart) pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Stir in the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add in sour cream and Dijon mustard, mix well. Then add in parmesan, salt and paper, cheddar and bacon, mix well. Place in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish and pour in heavy cream. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake 20 minutes more.
Meanwhile in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter. Once melted add crushed crackers and cook until well browned. Be careful as they will burn quickly once they begin to brown.
Once penne is done remove from oven and top with browned cracker crumbs and chopped parsley.
PSA: There’s no calories in this at all! It is rich so we recommend serving with your favorite salad and glass of Davis Estates Pinot Noir.
Courtesy of Mark Caldwell, Executive Chef Davis Estates