Okay, this might be a big mistake. I could be putting my entire engagement in jeopardy by telling you this story. However, I don’t see how I can post this recipe for mac and cheese without giving a little background. Here’s the thing – Chase used to not be able to cook at all. I mean, I actually had to teach him how to heat up canned soup. So the fact that this delicious bowl of cheesy-ness is now in my life proves that anyone, I mean ANYONE can learn how to be an amazing cook.
The first time Chase made mac and cheese he wanted to do it all on his own, with no help from me. Which I thought was awesome, to be honest. So, while he got hard at work in the kitchen I curled up on the couch to catch up on the latest episode of “Real Housewives” – try not to judge me. However, eventually there was this absolutely amazing smell of cheese the lured me off the couch and into the kitchen, just in time to see Chase pouring a heavenly pot of cheese sauce onto…raw pasta.
Me: Ummm…babe? Aren’t you supposed to cook the pasta first?
Chase: No, the recipe says to use uncooked pasta.
I took a glance at the recipe and saw no mention of cooking the pasta, which was quite odd. Then… I glanced at the ingredient list and this is what I saw:
- 5 cups cooked pasta (1 lb uncooked)
Oh dear lord. My well-intentioned boyfriend had only read the parenthesis and just dumped cheese sauce on raw pasta that is supposed to be cooked. I didn’t see any easy way out of this, and so I broke the news to him that the pan full of mac and cheese that he was about to put in the oven had to be thrown out. Well… I had a bit of a boyfriend meltdown on my hands immediately following that, and for a second it seemed that we weren’t going to be having mac and cheese that night, if ever again. However, after rinsing the sauce off the pasta, cooking it, and then making a fresh sauce from whatever cheese we could scrounge out of the fridge, everything somehow turned out okay.
These days, Chase doesn’t hesitate to boast about his prowess when it comes to mac and cheese. And rightfully so, when he comes up with recipes like this. Until now, he’s tried to keep this tale of his early failure under wraps, but I have to admit it’s one of my favorites. So again, remember this story if you ever get discouraged from a lame kitchen mistake you’ve made.
And babe? Since I assume you’re reading this, I love you. Seriously. Hopefully you can forgive me for this.
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.
Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese
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