Chef John Folse's Macaroni and Cheese Carbonara Louisiana Style

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Yields: 4-6 Servings

Comment: Macaroni and Cheese is a quick easy dish for any night of the week. This five cheese version with smoked sausage gives the old classic a Cajun twist.


1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked just under al dente
2 cups grated Asiago cheese
1½ cups Port-Salut cheese
1 1/2 cups cream cheese
1 cup grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1-inch thick piece pancetta, diced
1 1/2cups diced smoked sausage or ham
3 cloves minced garlic 
1/2 cup minced onions
3 tbsps all-purpose flour
6-7 cups whole milk, heated and divided
4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked 
1 tsp cayenne pepper 
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1/2 cup diced roasted red bell peppers 
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 3-quart baking dish and set aside. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and smoked sausage or ham and cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Add minced garlic and onions to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the flour and blend well. Whisk in 6 cups of the hot milk, increase the heat to high and cook 3-5 minutes or until thickened, whisking constantly. In a bowl, add egg yolks then ladle in hot milk 1 ladle at a time, whisking constantly to temper egg yolks. Pour egg mixture into the milk sauce, remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the cayenne. In a small bowl, reserve 2 tablespoons of each cheese then add remaining cheese into the sauce, stirring constantly until completely melted. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and granulated garlic. If the mixture appears too thick, add remaining milk ¼ cup at a time. In a large bowl, add cooked macaroni, cheese sauce, reserved pancetta, smoked sausage or ham, red pepper and parsley and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle reserved five cheeses evenly over the top of the macaroni. Bake in the oven until heated through and the top is lightly brown, 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.