Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese

Recipe by Chase Livengood

Here’s the trick about smoked gouda mac & cheese. Smoked gouda on it’s own isn’t very creamy and has a very strong flavor, so I don’t think it makes a good mac & cheese on its own. However, if you combine it with some sharp white cheddar beware: This stuff is better than anything you’ve ever had.

1 lb package short pasta (penne, elbow macaroni, etc)
4  tablespoons  butter
4  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
4  cups  milk
½  teaspoon  salt
½  teaspoon  fresh ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
8-oz block sharp white cheddar cheese, grated and divided (about 2 cups)
8-oz block smoked gouda cheese, grated and divided (about 2 cups)

Cook the pasta according to package directions, set aside. (don’t forget this step!)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Continue whisking and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Whisking constantly, cook for 5 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat to low and stir in salt, black pepper and most of the cheese, reserving about a cup of cheese.

Pour the pasta in a lightly greased 8 x 11 x 2 baking dish. Spoon the cheese sauce over the pasta, stirring lightly to even out the sauce in the pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cup of cheese and the paprika.

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven, and prepare yourself for out-of-this world macaroni and cheese.
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