This is by no means a light dinner, but once in a while on a wintry night some gooey mac ‘n cheese indulgence is just perfect. This yielded a lot of lunch leftovers when I made it last week. The original recipe called for deli ham, but I added some crispy bacon instead.

Four-Cheese Pasta with Peas and Bacon (adapted from the December ’11 issue of Food Network Magazine)
4 servings
Kosher salt
12 ounces penne
1 cup frozen peas
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
1 cup evaporated milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (1 scant cup)
3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
3 ounces fontina cheese, grated (1 scant cup)
3 ounces deli ham, in 1 piece, diced
1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

The cheeses.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until very al dente, about 8 minutes, adding the peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg white, evaporated milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl.

Drain the pasta and peas; wipe the pot dry and return the pasta and peas to the pot. Add the butter and stir to coat.

Add the cheddar, mozzarella, fontina and the egg mixture.

Place the pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes, adding the ham (bacon) halfway through cooking (don’t let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble).

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan.

Really delicious.