Thursday, May 14, 2015

Creamy Bacon Broccoli and Brie Pasta

This is really mac and cheese in disguise. A grown-up mac and cheese, if you will. Tender pasta tossed in a creamy cheese sauce flavored by brie, all mixed in with crispy bacon and bright green broccoli. The hubby and I went nuts over this, truly we ate more than we should have.  I couldn't believe when I discovered we (the two of us!) ate almost a whole skillet of that wonderful brie-coated pasta. 

Little piggies, I tell you.

Because me and pasta? The best of friends. Love at first bite. It's one of my favorite things to eat. If I were to give you my list of 5 items that I could only eat for the rest of my life, pasta would be on it. In fact, that list would most likely read:


And wow, rounding up 5th place would be-

Shrimp, peaches, eggs, avocados, asparagus, pine nuts, cherries, strawberries, garlic, cucumbers, chicken, tomatoes, bacon, oranges, turkey, rice, jalapeños, CHEESE, refried beans, cashews, basil, tortillas, carrots, potatoes, filet mignon...

Allright. Turns out, I may not be able to just eat 5 foods the rest of my life. Because that list could go on and on :)

I promise, you can't go wrong with this version of mac and cheese. There is one secret ingredient you will need in order to turn brie into a creamy sauce. It's sodium citrate. 

Say what??

Yes, sodium citrate. I didn't have any on hand, I didn't even know you could use it for cooking. And, if I'm being honest, it sounded like some formula I needed to memorize for a college chemistry class. Apparently, it can be used in cooking. I wasn't able to find it in any stores around here, but I was expecting that. I ended up ordering some off of Amazon. I first heard of using this ingredient over on Shawnda's blog, Confections of A Foodie Bride. As soon as I saw her Creamy Brie, Bacon, and Pea Pasta I knew I had to make this dish. It sounded right up my alley. As in, I could eat brie all day. And all night. And all the next day. 

Maybe I should have included Brie on my list? I guess it's under the all-encompassing CHEESE category. 

I subbed out peas in my recipe, only because they are not something the hubby enjoys eating. And broccoli is one of my absolute favorite vegetables. Ooh, I just had an idea for this month's round-up...

25 Summer Fresh Broccoli Recipes perhaps? 

Pasta aside, today has started off interesting. First of all, Gizmo either has allergies or has come down with a cold. The hubby picked 6 ticks off him a couple of days ago, and I'm left wondering if those tick bites could make him sick like this? Like with a chest cold? I'm stumped. I'm taking the matter to those more informed- poor Giz has to go to the vet today. So while Gizmo is running all over the house sneezing and coughing today, he's actually running away from something...

We got a Rumba. 

Yes, I now have a vacuum-cleaner robot. Although all the physical therapy, rest, and yoga have helped my back, I'm still not going to be able to break out the heavy vacuum and use it every couple of days like I'm accustomed to. There's something about the weight and the motion. Plus, we just added another dog and about 5 million dog hairs to the house. What's an OCD housewife to do? Invest in a Rumba, that's what.

The dogs hate it. Haloti follows it around for a while, until it turns and starts coming towards him. Then he runs. Mariota just sits on the couch and stares it down. I hear a little growl out of him occasionally. And Gizmo? Well, he's not feeling his best, but even at his best I think he would run from it. 

Me however? Loooooooooving it. It is the beginning of beautiful human-robot relationship. And clean floors when I wake in the morning!

Have a great day everyone!

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 head broccoli, cut into florets
8 ounces farfalle pasta
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp sodium citrate
8 ounces brie, rine removed and chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. While waiting for water to boil, fill a large mixing bowl with ice, then water. Set aside. When water is boiling, add broccoli. Boil for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove broccoli from pot with slotted spoon and add to the ice water. Swish broccoli around for a minute, then drain and set aside. Fill pot with water again.
2. When water is boiling, add pasta. Cook to package directions. When done, drain, and set aside. 
3. Add bacon to a large skillet. Turn skillet heat to medium-high and crisp up the bacon. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon, place on a plate covered with paper towel to drain. Set aside. Reserve 1 tbsp bacon grease in pan.
4. Add milk and sodium citrate to the pan, stir to mix. Add brie to the pan, stirring to mix. When the brie is melted and the sauce is smooth, add reserved broccoli, pasta, and bacon to the pan. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and serve immediately. 

Recipe adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Looking for other pasta and cheese recipes? Try these!

Creamy Shells and Cheese (with Broccoli and Grilled Chicken)


  1. I hope Gizmo is okay. I'll say a prayer for him.

    The pasta looks great!


    1. Thanks Rue! Gizmo has a little upper respiratory infection. Nothing antibiotics and cough drops can't help :) Hopefully he's back to himself ASAP! Have a great weekend!


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