Let me just go ahead and get this out of the way. Confession: I’ve had a long standing love affair with mac ‘n cheese – homemade concoctions, boxed shortcuts, and restaurant versions alike. Celebrations, pot lucks, down on your luck, fed up with it all and just because … all perfectly sound reasons to break out the good stuff.
I can admit, I have fixated just a bit. You know, gone overboard. But being an all or nothing girl definitely has it’s perks. This is the first … hope you enjoy!
What you’ll need …
- 16 oz. cooked and drained penne pasta
- 6 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups half & half
- 1 cup shredded smoked gouda
- 1 lb. quality diced (1/2″ cubes) bacon
- 2 shallots minced
- 2 cups fresh kale
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- salt & pepper to taste
What you’ll do …
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan cook bacon pieces. When nearly cooked crispy, add shallots and kale. Once kale is wilted. Remove mixture from heat and set aside.
- In the same saucepan, add 6 tablespoons of butter. Allow to melt slowly, whisking consistently. Then add one at a time, the tbsp of flour … again, whisking to combine rapidly and consistently. Add the half & half in the same fashion.
- Once sauce begins to thicken. Add smoked gouda, nutmeg, salt & pepper.
- Toss the cooked penne with the kale mixture. Then pour cheese sauce over the the pasta in a 9×9 pan.
- Bake at 350 until top is golden brown and edges are bubbling.