No sooner did I get caught up than I fell behind again. Story of my life. I told my mom I felt like I had the cooking version of writer’s block, nothing was inspiring me.
Then this past weekend, I read Michael J. Fox’s latest memoir. This is a guy who has been dealing with Parkinson’s Disease for nearly 30 years, started a foundation that has funded over a billion dollars in research in the past 20 years, and dealt with both a spinal tumor (unrelated to the PD) that could have left him paralyzed AND a fall that shattered his arm, in the same year … talk about inspiring! I realized I needed to quit my mental whining about not knowing what kind of mac & cheese to make and, as Nike says, Just Do It.
I got this Dutch Bike cheese at Costco recently and it was on top in the cheese drawer, so it was first up. It looks like Swiss cheese and has a similar taste, although somewhat milder. You know that little tingle on the tongue that you get from Swiss? This has that, but not as strong. I haven’t had Gouda as often, so I didn’t notice the “hints” of that as much, but I’m sure they’re there!
- 8 ounces bow tie pasta (see notes)
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 4 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups whole milk (see notes)
- 1 cup heavy cream (see notes)
- 2 cups (approx. 8 ounces) shredded Dutch Bike cheese
- 1 cup (approx. 4 ounces) shredded Parmesan
- Kosher salt
- Bring a pan of water to a boil, then add a teaspoon or so of kosher salt. Cook the pasta until tender, about 12 minutes; then drain and rinse with cold water.
- Meanwhile, combine the milk and cream in a small pan and heat on low until just warmed but not bubbling.
- Melt the butter over medium-low heat, then stir in the flour and whisk continually for 3-4 minutes.
- Slowly add the warmed milk & cream mixture and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, whisking frequently, until the mixture thickens.
- Add the cheeses and stir until fully melted.
- Add salt to taste – I use about ½-1 tsp. of kosher salt.
- Combine with cooked pasta.
It doesn’t look super cheesy, since it uses two white cheeses, but it has a very nice flavor. It’s reminiscent of alfredo sauce, but with a twist.
- I wasn’t sure which kind of pasta would pair best with this sauce, but I had a box of bow tie and I hadn’t made anything with that noodle type yet. And then I got a mental image of a Dutch professor wearing a bow tie and riding a bike, so it became the ONLY kind I could see using. My mind is a strange place sometimes.
- The proportions of sauce to pasta were off – I meant to scoop out a little of the white sauce before I added the cheese, and then I just forgot (it was early in the morning). There’s still about 4 ounces of pasta left in the box, so I plan to boil it up and add it in, and then it should be about right. Another option would be to reduce the milk and cream by half a cup each.
Posted December 15, 2020