smoked gouda mac ‘n cheese with bacon + kale

Smoked Gouda Mac 'n Cheese with Bacon & Kale

Smoked Gouda Mac ‘n Cheese with Bacon & Kale

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 …

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Once sauce begins to thicken. Add smoked gouda, nutmeg, salt & pepper.
  5. Toss the cooked penne with the kale mixture. Then pour cheese sauce over the the pasta in a 9×9 pan.
  6. Bake at 350 until top is golden brown and edges are bubbling.