Gouda Macaroni & Cheese
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to make the investment into Insolence & Wine and joined a highly recommended food blogging course. In the past, and I’m being completely transparent here, I’ve made enough through affiliate links and advertising that I’ve been able to pay for my various wine clubs and wine for suggested pairings on this site. Not too shabby for a hobby, eh? Anyhow, I’ve been inspired and motivated to go back through our archive and either re-photograph certain recipes or just remove them all together.
In the case of today’s recipe, I not only decided to re-shoot it, I also decided to completely re-write the recipe and post itself in an attempt to give it the love and attention it deserves. I’m 99% sure that this mac and cheese recipe is why my husband married me. It’s the one bargaining chip I can hold over his head to routinely kill spiders, open jars and be responsible for the dog poo in the yard. This mac and cheese even made it into our wedding vows. It’s like voodoo cheese magic that adults and kids can’t seem to get enough of.
Before I get into the recipe, I want to talk about some wines to enjoy alongside this smoked Gouda mac and cheese. The cheesy sauce is made up of a trio of different kinds of cheeses, so you can pair any of those three kinds of cheese with a specific wine. Since Gouda is my favorite cheese in the sauce, I almost always reach for a Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, like this one from Calcareous Vineyards. My husband likes the Cheddar so if he’s in charge of selecting a wine, he reaches for a Malbec, such as this tasty option from Niner. I don’t usually pair this recipe with white wine, but if I do, it’s Gewurztraminer as it goes nicely with the Münster cheese. Despite it’s cheesy-ness, Chardonnay wouldn’t be a good balance because of its buttery texture and it will mask the smoke flavors of the cheeses. That being said, a crisp Chardonnay made in concrete or stainless steel tanks wouldn’t be too out matched.
Alright, let’s get back to this delicious macaroni and cheese recipe, shall we? With three different types of cheeses within the recipe, it’s easy to understand why it has become a staple in my family, especially during the colder months when it’s all about comfort food. The types of cheese you use can be mixed and matched, but I suggest always using Gouda in your mixture. Sometimes, when I can’t find Münster, I’ll use a smoked cheddar, which really screams fall flavors to me.
Gouda + Münster + Sharp Cheddar = deliciousness.
Gouda + Smoked Cheddar + Sharp Cheddar = deliciousness.
Gouda + Smoked Havarti + Cream Cheese = deliciousness.
But I keep going back to the original mixture of Gouda, Münster and Sharp Cheddar.
This recipe can be made in stages and it freezes like a dream. Mix up your cheese sauce while you cook your noodles, then combine the cheese sauce and pasta in either a casserole dish or several ramekins for individual servings. If you are freezing this recipe, simply put it together in a freezer safe dish and freeze it once the sauce has come to room temperature.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups smoked Gouda cheese
- 1 cup münster cheese
- to taste salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup cubed day old french bread
- 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 pound cooked pasta