Food Share: Pancetta Mac N Cheese

Good Morning!   Really?!  Monday already??

What a busy weekend it was…..working in the yard.  After 2 full days of splitting a gazillion daylillies, yanking out juniper, weeding, hedging and just generally kicking butt, I’m exhausted!   While I prepped dinner last night, I could hardly keep my eyes open.  I kept telling myself, “Robin, this is one of your favorite meals.  (Pasta Pomodoro) You’ve earned it!”  And…”Just wait…we’ll run to Dairy Queen for dessert!”  Unfortunately, I was ultimately too tired to care.  So…I wolfed down my s’ghetti and…went.to.bed.  Yes.  Bella was in bed at 8 and so was her Momma.   A few calls to family while I laid there and then it was LIGHTS.OUT.   I sure does feel good to be productive!  Now, if only we could say the yardwork was done!  Yeah. Right.

Speaking of productive…I also had a productive week at work last week.  In fact, during one of my cases, I did something I have never done before.   It was early Thursday morning and I was standing in surgery.  (Remember my post from last week.)  Surgeon 1 had just finished placing my Plexur graft into the harvest site of the patient’s hip.  The iliac crest harvest piece was laying on a papertowel on the stertile field behind the surgeon, along with the rest of his instruments.  To begin closing the wound, the surgeon turned around to grab some sutures.  Unfortunately, as he did this, he inadvertently grabbed that papertowel and” tossed” it aside.  (For those of you who haven’t been in an OR, there are often times several pieces of papertowel, gauze pads, etc on the sterile field/table so grabbing the wrong one or tossing one aside, would be easy to do.)  As he “tossed” the paper aside, I caught a glimpse of that harvested bone start to “fly” and without any hesitation I screached, “Noooo!!  That’s the bone!!”   You can imagine, I scared the living crap out of everyone in the room….including the surgeon.  Fortunately, the harvested bone missed the edge of the sterile table by a millimeter.  And…lucky for me, the surgeon was very appreciative of my high-pitched warning.  His exact words, “Get this bone over to the other sterile field.  I am my own worst enemy!”  We all exhaled and sighed in relief….and I followed with an apology.  “Dr, I am SO sorry to have scared you.  I do that to my husband all the time but it usually sounds something like, ‘Ryan! There’s a cop!'”  Again, lucky for me, they all thought that was pretty comical.  I was still mortified. 

And speaking of “something I have never done before”, last week I decided to try out my own version of “food sharing.”   One night, before I left for my dinner meeting, I whipped up dinner.  This time though, I decided I should “share” the pan of Pancetta Mac N Cheese I was making.  I mean, come one, who really needs a full pan of Mac N Cheese?!?!  You have GOT to indulge…in moderation.  🙂

So with that thought in mind, I signed into Facebook and posted this message, “Iowa City Friends – I just got home and plan to whip up a batch of Pancetta Mac N Cheese. If you are interested in a half pan…I will have one extra…and it will be ready in 15min or so. You will just have to bake it! Let me know.”   And…within 30 minutes, it was gone!   What fun!   I am such a geek…I was so excited to make a batch and share it with a friend…not only becuase it is delicious but also because it would save someone else some time making dinner for their family.  Isn’t sharing fun??  I think we (Moms especially) should do this more often.  🙂

PANCETTA MAC N CHEESE

Recipe courtesy of Dr Michael McGlamry (Thank you, Dr McGlamry for sharing!)

Serving: 1 9×13 pan or 2 8×8 pans

  • 1 lb Pasta (Rigatoni or your favorite noodle)
  • 8 oz Sharp Cheddar, freshly grated
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack, freshly grated 
  • 4 oz Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 1 Qt Whipping Cream (could substitute Half and Half)
  • 1/4 lb pancetta, thinly sliced and chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil the noodles until al dente (7-10 minutes depending on the noodle).  Mix with the Cream and add 2/3 of the cheese.  Spread over a greased 9×13 pan or two 8×8 pans.  Top with the remaining 1/3 cheese.  Bake for 45 min at 350 degrees!

See…it really doesn’t get much easier…and it was so so so good.  Grill up some chicken (Jalapenp Popper Chicken pictured below..recipe to come) and asparagus and your dinner is ready!

And there you have it.  Life really is all about the little things…like impulse outbursts and sharing Mac N Cheese.   Indulge yourself this week.

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

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