Yields about four servings
- 1 pound (package) of tube or elbow shaped pasta
- 2 Tbsp Butter (or butter alternative)
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 1 ¾ cup slightly warm Goat milk (or cow works)
- 1 cup Goat Gouda cheese grated
- 1 cup Goat Cheddar cheese grated
- 1/2 cup Manchego cheese grated
- 1/4 cup soft goat cheese
- ⅛ tsp smoked Paprika
- Sprinkle nutmeg
Boil a large pot of water. Once it is boiling add the pound of pasta (one package) and salt to the water. Leave lid off and boil until al dente, usually about 8 to 9 minutes. Before draining pasta, save 1 cup of the pasta water for later. (I do this by dipping a heavy glass measuring cup before I drain; a mug works well too). Put pasta back in pan – do NOT add anything to it. Cover and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan melt butter until bubbling, add flour and stir until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in one cup of milk to make paste, return to heat and slowly stir in the rest of the milk. If lumps form use a whisk to remove. Stir in spices and continue to cook on medium low heat until sauce starts to thicken (coats back of spoon), about 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t be tempted to try and rush it by turning up the heat, this will only burn it. You do NOT want it to boil. Increase heat to medium, add in grated cheese and stir until well melted and combined, this takes about 5 minutes. Add in soft goat cheese and stir until fully combined, another 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Take sauce off heat, move pasta pan to warm burner (if a gas stove, leave heat on low, if electric turn heat off). Add a splash of pasta water to the pasta to loosen it up. Now add the cheese sauce to the pasta. Stir gently until every noodle is covered. Turn heat off and let it sit for 5 minutes covered. If it sits longer and you need to make it lose again, use a little more of the reserved pasta water and low heat.
You can add protein right into this (cooked chicken, cooked ground meat) and/or cooked veggies. Favorites at our house are broccoli with seasoned ground turkey, or peas and shrimp. It really is a great base for anything, or just awesome all by itself!