Sometimes when you crave comfort food, only a massive bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese will do the trick. In a pinch, you can always rustle up the store-bought version, but why not treat yourself and make it from scratch?
Maui Pasta executive chef and co-owner Patricia Hochhaus offers a recipe for the restaurant’s popular Gouda macaroni and cheese. While cooking, be prepared to vigilantly stir the sauce, she says. “And make sure that when you’re stirring to really scrape the bottom of the pan because as milk heats up, all the proteins gather at the bottom and that’s what burns first."
Originally located on Maui (hence the name), Hochhaus and husband, Stephen, along with business partner Debra Lynch, recently moved the restaurant to Arizona and opened in the Scottsdale Shops at Gainey Ranch. The restaurant also has a factory store where the trio sells fresh pasta, sauces, breads and baked goods.
Gouda Macaroni & Cheese
4 cups milk
1 stick butter
½ cup flour
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 ¼ tsp. salt
½ lb. of Gouda cheese (not aged Gouda)
½ lb. of cheddar cheese
1 lb. elbow macaroni noodles, fresh or dry (Maui Pasta makes their macaroni pasta fresh on-site)
1. Grate the Gouda and cheddar cheeses with a cheese grater. Set aside.
2. Heat water for boiling the macaroni noodles. Once boiling, add 1 tsp. of salt to water.
3. Cook noodles for 3 minutes or until cooked "al dente."
4. Drain and set aside.
5. In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, melt 1 stick of butter.
6. Stir in salt and nutmeg to the melted butter. Do not let butter brown.
7. Still on medium-high heat and using a metal whisk, slowly pour 1 cup of the milk into the melted butter mix stirring and scraping the bottom of the saucepan until the milk thickens.
8. Repeat with the remaining 3 cups of milk, pouring one cup at a time and stirring until thickened before adding the next.
9. Once the sauce is bubbling on all edges and thickened, turn off heat. This sauce, called bechamel sauce, should resemble the consistency of thick gravy.
10. Remove saucepan from heat and add the grated Gouda and cheddar cheeses.
11. Stir vigorously until cheese is melted.
12. If the cheese is not fully melted, turn the burner back on low, and heat briefly while stirring constantly until cheese is fully melted. Do not overheat to avoid the cheeses from separating.
13. Add the cooked elbow macaroni into the cheese sauce and let stand for 20 minutes.
14. It may look like the sauce is not thick enough or that there are not enough noodles, however, the starch from the pasta and the cooling cheese sauce will thicken in 20 minutes.
15. Leftovers can easily be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little cream or milk added (about 1 tbsp. per serving).