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Smoked Macaroni & Cheese

Smoked Macaroni & Cheese
To create this comforting classic, we combine two kinds of cheeses: Sharp cheddar adds a tangy taste, while smoked Gouda lends a delightfully smoky flavor and creamy texture.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 oz. crustless country-style bread
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lb. rigatoni, cooked until al dente and drained

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a large rectangular baking dish.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 4 Tbs. butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the tomato paste. Add 1 1/2 cups of each cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne.

Tear the bread into crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and the 2 Tbs. melted butter and season with salt.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta and the cheese sauce, then pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheeses and the buttered bread crumbs. Bake until the cheeses are golden and bubbly, about 40 minutes. If the top becomes too dark, cover with aluminum foil. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen