Corn Chowdah Mac 'n' Cheese
by Gina Jantzen

URL Source:
Source: Rachael Ray
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Food Group: Pasta
Serves: 6


Salt & pepper
1 pound(s) Mezzi rigatoni, cavatappi or corkscrew pasta
4 Ears corn, husked
EVOO, for drizzling
5 Slices thick-cut bacon
1 Baking potato, peeled and diced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tablespoon(s) Old Bay Seasoning (half a palmful)
2 Stalks celery, chopped
1 Red chile pepper, such as fresno, seeded and chopped
1 small Red bell pepper, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
1 small Red onion, finely chopped
5 clove(s) Garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoon(s) Butter
2 tablespoon(s) Flour
2 cup(s) Whole milk
1 teaspoon(s) Dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon(s) Cayenne pepper
1 cup(s) Grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (or Romano)
1.5 cup(s) Shredded extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese
A few sprigs thyme, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook to al dente. Drain and return to the pot.

While the pasta is working, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the broiler. Place a small bowl upside down in a large bowl. Stand each ear of corn on the small bowl and scrape down the kernels.

2.     Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO and the bacon and cook until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate.

3.     Add the corn, potato and Old Bay to the bacon drippings in the skillet and brown for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, chile pepper, bell pepper, onion and garlic; season with the thyme, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

4.     Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, then the milk; season with the mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce coats a spoon thickly; lower the heat to low. Stir in the parmigiano-reggiano.

5.     Add the corn-potato mixture and the white sauce to the pasta in the pot and stir together. Transfer to a casserole or serving dish, top with the cheddar and bacon and broil until brown and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes:When I made this, I did not use the thyme.