To create this comforting classic, we combine two kinds of cheeses: Sharp cheddar adds a tangy taste, while smoked Gouda lends a delightfully smoky flavor and creamy texture.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.com
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 ounces crustless country-style bread
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pound rigatoni, cooked until al dente and drained
- 1 Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a large rectangular baking dish.
- 2 In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 4 tablespoons butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the tomato paste.
- 3 Add 1 1/2 cups of each cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne.
- 4 Tear the bread into crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and the 2 tablespoons melted butter and season with salt.
- 5 In a large bowl, combine the pasta and the cheese sauce, then pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheeses and the buttered bread crumbs.
- 6 Bake until the cheeses are golden and bubbly, about 40 minutes. If the top becomes too dark, cover with aluminum foil. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.