Do your kids love mac-n-cheese? My kids do, but I haven’t been making it because – 1. I’ve been avoiding boxed foods and 2. I thought that making homemade mac-n-cheese would be a long and complicated process. Guess what? It’s not! Thanks to Dan at PlatterTalk, I was inspired to adapt his (Almost) World Famous Mac-n-Cheese to incorporate one of our favorite cheeses to make a Smoked Gouda Mac-n-Cheese.
Okay. I know you’re asking, “Why did you change the recipe?”. Don’t get me wrong, the original recipe was great! My two sons were even asking for third servings and there were no leftovers. I adapted the recipe because I don’t buy sharp cheddar on a regular basis, while smoked gouda is a cheese I always have on-hand because I’m in serious love with it. Plus, I wanted to add some type of vegetable into the mac-n-cheese. Oh, I also doubled the bacon content so this contains about 2 slices of bacon per person. I know, not the most diet friendly recipe, but it’s really good!So without further ado, here is a new family favorite meal. Thank you Dan for the inspiration!
- 1 16 oz. box Riggatoni or macaroni noodles
- 8 -10oz Smoked Gouda (grated)
- 16oz thick cut bacon (cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream or milk
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon kosher salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon and adjust to your taste)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Prepare noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Slice bacon into 1" pieces. Cook in a pan on medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan and place on paper towels to drain. Set aside.
- Drain bacon oil from the pan, leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, about 1 tsp. Place pan back onto medium heat and add peas. Cook peas for about 2 minutes or just until defrosted. Set aside.
- In a pot, melt 2 T. of butter and add 2 T. of flour over medium heat. Continue to stir and cook until the butter/flour mixture becomes browned, about 2 minutes.
- Add heavy cream, grated smoked Gouda, and salt/pepper to the butter/flour mixture. Slightly lower the heat and whisk until the smoked Gouda is melted.
- In a large bowl, mix together the Riggatoni noodles, cheese mixture, peas, and bacon.
- Lightly grease a 9"x13" glass cassereole dish. Pour the noodle mixture into the casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes. Serve.
If you prefer a more cheesy taste, increase the grated smoked Gouda to 10 oz
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