Easy Macaroni and Smoked Cheese

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Easy Macaroni and Smoked Cheese

What is there not to love?? Pasta with Cheese…probably the most beloved food of all kids. This “grown up” version is both easy and appealing to kids and adults alike. For those of you fortunate to live near a Trader Joe's, their smoked gouda is one of the best I have had, and like some of their cheese, is made with a vegetable rennet to keep this dish vegetarian-friendly.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 28 mins
  • Servings: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp(s) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp(s) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup(s) 2% milk
  • 1/2 tsp(s) dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp(s) smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp(s) salt
  • 1 pinch(s) cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup(s) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup(s) smoke gouda cheese, grated
  • 1 cup(s) dry elbow macaroni
  • 1/3 cup(s) panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup(s) fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp(s) olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring 10 quarts of salted water to a boil.

While your water is heating up, melt your butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in your flour and whisk continuously until blended, about 1 min.

Whisk in milk, mustard, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika (optional) and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, again whisking continuously to prevent burning.

Lower the heat and simmer about 30 seconds.

Remove pan from heat and stir in all your cheeses. Set aside and prepare to heat it up just before adding to the macaroni.

Cook your macaroni elbows about 7 or 8 minutes until just al dente. Don’t overcook, as they will continue to cook in the oven. Drain thoroughly and transfer back to your large pot. Add hot cheese sauce and gently combine.

Add macaroni and cheese to a buttered 8 X 8 casserole dish.

In a small bowl, add panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands, mix all together so that the bread crumbs are saturated with the oil. Sprinkle over top your macaroni and cheese, and place in oven for 20 min, or until you just see the breadcrumbs begin to brown. Enjoy!

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