A smoky and savory flavored spin on a classic.
Smoked Gouda Macaroni with Sautéed Tomatoes
This is a slightly different take on macaroni and cheese. If you know me well, you know mac and cheese is one of my favorites. Combining one of my beloved cheeses [smoked gouda] and “small thimbles” pasta [ditalini] resulted in this versatile dish.
- Begin by cooking pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water – 2 tablespoons-ish. Allow to cook until al dente. Reserve some pasta water, drain well, rinse with cool water and return to pot or large mixing bowl.
- Heat olive oil in a small pan on medium-high. Sauté garlic until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook until liquid is reduced. Reduce heat and set aside.
- Melt butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, whisk in flour to make a roux about 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly until the roux is light blonde.
- Add milk and whisk continuously until smooth. The white sauce [béchamel] will thicken in about 5-6 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, paprika, dry mustard, nutmeg, Kosher salt and white pepper to taste.
- Lower heat to medium-low and add cheese to béchamel. Stir until cheese is melted.
- Stir in ditalini until coated. At this point, if the sauce is too thick add some of the reserved pasta water.
- Garnish ditalini with sautéed tomatoes and serve hot.
Serving Suggestion: Serve this as main dish or a side. It pairs well with any grilled protein – chicken, shrimp, steak, etc. Also keep in mind the sautéed tomatoes are optional but they definitely help cut through the creaminess of the pasta with a subtle acidity. Eat your vegetables [fruits]! 😆