Mac & Cheese Grows Up

April 10, 2013
Flavor Ingredients Trends

Sometimes don’t you just crave something from when you were a kid? I wanted macaroni and cheese, but with a flavor that was a little different. I love Gouda cheese and I’ve always wanted to try fontina cheese in a recipe. This Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese Recipe from the Colorado Classique cookbook was SO good! It was definitely a more gourmet, adult-style mac and cheese dinner with the different types of cheese and the added spinach, which gave it more depth in flavor. Between the Gouda, fontina and parmesan, there was a nice balance of creamy and sharp cheese flavor. And then there is the big craze of adding bacon to everything – why not to mac and cheese?! Here is the recipe so you can try this out for yourself.

2 c. dry elbow macaroni
1 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 c. whole milk
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 c. shredded fontina cheese
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
5 c. coarsely chopped fresh spinach
1/4 c. shredded smoked Gouda cheese
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. panko bread crumbs


Preaheat oven to 350.  Cook macaroni in boiling salted water; drain, reserving 1 c. pasta water.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Gradually whisk in milk, salt, and pepper until blended.  Bring to a boil.  Cook for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in fontina and Parmesan cheeses until melted.  Add spinach and drained macaroni to cheese sauce and stir until well blended.  Spoon mixture into a greased 2-quart baking dish.  If mixture seems too dry, add up to 1 c. of reserved pasta cooking water until moist.  Sprinkle with Gouda cheese and bacon.  Mix olive oil with bread crumbs and sprinkle on top.  Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly.