This Week's Wine Dinner: Smoked Gouda Macaroni & Cheese

Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese

You’ll want some acidity to balance the heaviness and creaminess of this dish, so choose the Blanc de Noir Sparkling Wine from Domaine Carneros with the slightest sweetness of cherry to play with saltiness as well.

Or try it with the red Cantine Valpane 'Valpane' Barbera del Monferrato from Piedmont, Italy that also balances with plenty of acidity, even in its early years.

Recipe

 

Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Bake Time: 20 Minutes

 

Ingredients

 

2 C. dry elbow macaroni

1 Tb butter

2 Cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tb all-purpose flour

2 C. whole milk

½ C. shredded Fontina or Gruyere cheese

1/3 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

5 C. of coarsely chopped fresh spinach

¼ C. shredded Gouda cheese

2 t. extra virgin olive oil

¼ C. Panko bread crumbs or other flaky varietal

½ t. salt

¼ t. black peper

2 strips of bacon (optional)

¼ C. Cholula or other brand of chili based hot sauce (optional)

 

Directions

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water according to their instructions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Whisk in the milk, salt and pepper until well blended. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes until thickened. Stir in Fontina and Parmesan cheeses. Add spinach and macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir until blended. Spoon mixture into a greased 2-quart baking dish. If the mixture seems too dry, add up to 1 cup of the pasta water until moist. Toss the olive oil with the bread crumbs and sprinkle along with the Gouda and the bacon on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly. Douse with hot sauce as desired.

 

Nutritional Information*

 

475 calories

19 g. fat

10 g. saturated fat

53 mg. cholesterol

740 mg. sodium

53 g. carbohydrates

8 g. sugars

3 g. fiber

22 g. protein

 

*Nutritional information includes bacon

 

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