Claire Tansey’s 3-Cheese Baked Pasta Recipe

Cheese, peas and crisped bacon make this creamy pasta irresistible.

6 slices bacon, preferably double-smoked
5 tbsp President’s Choice unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
6 tbsp flour
1 tbsp President’s Choice Dijon mustard
1-1/2 cups diced aged President’s Choice 4-year old cheddar (about 170 g)
1 cup diced Kraft Monterey Jack cheese (about 113 g)
1/2 cup diced smoked mozzarella cheese (about 56 g)
3 375 mL tins evaporated milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce
Salt and pepper
1 lb. short pasta such as penne
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 cup Kraft Wheat Thins, crushed
2 tbsp melted butter


Step 1: In a large pot or heat-safe casserole, sauté bacon over medium heat until softly crisped. Remove and drain on paper towels, then mince and reserve.

Step 2: Remove all but 1 tbsp bacon fat from pot. Add butter and melt. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle flour over top and stir very well to incorporate. Cook for 30 seconds. Stir in Dijon. Gradually stir in milk. Cook several minutes, stirring constantly with a flat-bottomed spoon or spatula, until thickened. Add cheeses, stirring until melted. Remove from heat, stir in Worcestershire and hot sauces.

Step 3: Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender. Add peas, return to a boil then drain. Add to cheese sauce along with minced bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 4: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle evenly overtop pasta. Bake 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Claire demonstrated this recipe at the Food & Entertaining event at the 2009 Princess Margaret Hospital Showhome.