Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese with Kale and Onions
Author: Susan Palmer
  • 1 16oz box gemelli pasta
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 oz baby kale
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz smoked gouda, shredded
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • a few turns of freshly grated black pepper
  • Panko breadcrumbs and additional butter to top
  1. Bring a large stockpot filled with salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the packages directions (subtracting about 2 minutes, as to not overcook the pasta later). Drain and set aside.
  2. Over medium heat, drizzle a little olive oil and sauté the onions until soft and lightly caramelized, stirring often, making sure they don't burn - about 15 minutes. Add the baby kale and cook until wilted about an additional five minutes.
  3. While the onions are cooking, in a medium-sized pot melt the butter over low heat and whisk in the flour to create a roux. Whisk the roux for at least a minute to cook out the raw flour taste.
  4. While whisking, slowly pour in half your milk into the roux, once there are no lumps remaining, add the remaining milk and heavy cream. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the béchamel has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon, making sure to stir every 30 seconds. Whisk in the cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper.
  5. Turn off the heat and in batches, stir in the cheese until completely melted. Add the onion/kale mixture and finally stir in the cooked pasta.
  6. Pour the mac and cheese into a 13X9 buttered dish and top with panko breadcrumbs and dot with pieces of unsalted butter.
  7. Place into a pre-heated 350 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes until set.
  8. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen at