Being from the South, Mac n Cheese was a staple for any holiday and sometimes on Sundays. The best thing about this dish is that most families (at least in my family) had their own take on it, adding some secret ingredient that made theirs stand out. That ingredient, they would never tell. I’m kind of breaking the rules here, but my family’s secret ingredient is one of the ingredients listed below in this recipe. This Smoked Gouda & Rosemary Mac & Cheese is my own recipe based on flavors that have developed for me as I became an adult. My mom’s recipe (minus the gouda and rosemary and with one more ingredient😉) is still one of my favs. This one, my own is rich and cheesy with beautiful herbaceous flavor. It's so easy to make and enjoy. Pour yourself a glass of merlot and be delighted on how quick this dish is to make. Read on for the wine pairing...
· 16oz pack of elbow macaroni (I like Barilla)
· 8 oz (2– 8 ounce blocks) smoked gouda cheese, grated and divided
· 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese (I buy in the block and grate or cut into small chunks)
· 1 stick salted butter
· 8 oz can Nestle Carnation Evaporated milk
· 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
· 1/2 teaspoon cumin
· 3 large eggs
· 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary (chopped)
· salt, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 365°F.
2. Cook pasta al dente (about 7 minutes) and drain all but about 3 tablespoons of the pasta water.
3. Add butter and stir allowing it to melt. Add paprika, cumin and a couple dashes of salt. Stir. Add half of the cheeses and let melt while stirring. Add carnation milk and the eggs. Stir. Last, stir in the chopped rosemary.
4. Pour mixture into a large baking dish, then top with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.
5. Let cool for 15 minutes and serve.
I love Frichette's 2018 Merlot from Red Mountain. It's full bodied with rich tannins with smoke on the nose and palate, making it perfect with the smoked gouda in this mac & cheese. The rosemary in the dish is complementary to the fruit in the wine. It's a great pairing.