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Gouda Bacon Mac & Cheese

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Gouda Bacon Mac & Cheese

Recipe and photo by Amanda Hutchinson

Mac and cheese is one of those foods I’ll eat in any form, whether it’s the basic out-of-the-box kind or a hearty homemade batch dripping with cheese. My first real meal after getting my wisdom teeth out in high school was smoked gouda mac and cheese; I had to mush it up with a fork, but I wasn’t going to waste a perfect batch of carby cheesy goodness. For this batch, I selected Corfu-based Yancey’s Fancy Smoked Gouda with Bacon and paired with more fresh bacon and a touch of Romano cheese to change things up a bit. My next attempt will probably tackle their Buffalo Cheddar.

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 cups small pasta like orzo, stars, or alphabet letters

1/4 pound bacon slices, cut in half length-wise – you may use more if you want crunch in your mac

1/4 cup flour

Salt and pepper as desired

2 cups milk

2 cups shredded smoked Gouda – I used Yancey’s Fancy Smoked Gouda with Bacon

1/2 cup shredded Romano cheese

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the pasta, cooking until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large high-sided skillet, cook bacon over medium heat to desired crunchiness, draining on a paper towel and chopping roughly. Allow the reserved fat (roughly 1/4 cup) to cool slightly, then whisk in flour and desired salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly until incorporated. Gradually add the shredded cheese until melted and smooth.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and stir until the sauce evenly coats the pasta. If using additional bacon within the mac, add just before serving with a quick stir to incorporate. Divide into bowls and top with remaining bacon crumbles.

Amanda Hutchinson is a senior journalism major at Ithaca College who enjoys making real food on a college budget. Check out her other work at amandalhutchinson.wordpress.com.

For more of Amanda’s recipes, take a look at her Beef Wellington.

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