Butter for the baking dish
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Cheddar Cheese Sauce
10 strips bacon
2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 3-quart oven proof baking dish with butter, and set aside.
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the macaroni and salt and stir to prevent sticking. Cook for 7 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and toss with the oil.
Heat the cheese sauce in a saucepan over medium heat.
In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Line a metal tray with paper towels. Drain the bacon. Chop the bacon into bits.
In a bowl, combine the bacon, parmesan, 1 cup of the breadcrumbs, the parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, and pepper.
In a separate bowl, toss together the macaroni and heated cheese sauce, mixing well.
Stir the macaroni-cheese mixture into the breadcrumbs mixture. Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.
Place the baking dish on top of a baking pan to catch spills if the cheese bubbles over. Bake for 40 minutes, or until crispy and brown on top.