This recipe was the result of a shopping trip I took to St Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto. While I would love to be virtuous and say I frequent the Market for its fantastic produce, that would be a downright lie. It’s not that the produce at the market is bad, far from it, I just happen to find the Peameal Bacon Sandwiches and the stinky cheeses much more alluring.
Every market is magical in it’s own way, whether it be large or small, but St. Lawrence Market is remarkable in it’s variety; you can find just about anything there. One shop had well over thirty kinds of flour.
There is nothing quite like wandering past shops offering up products that were so lovingly crafted; something as simple as a handmade croissant represents years of training, trial and error and passionate perseverance. Each product tells a personal story. Try getting something like that from your local grocery store.
I wandered past my favorite cheese shop to pick up a little smoked Gouda and that’s when inspiration hit. I ran home and made this Smoked Gouda Fusilli with little hesitation and I’m so glad I did; it garnered rave reviews from my beau. This dish was as comforting as macaroni and cheese, but twice as flavorful. The addition of sautéed mushrooms brought a new level of decadence to the dish and the red pepper gave the meal a sweet counterbalance to the salty, smokiness of the sauce. The smoked Gouda melted smoothly into the silky white sauce and coated each piece of Fusilli beautifully. The smokiness of the cheese was even more apparent after it had melted into the sauce. Oh, and please don’t skimp on the black pepper; it gives the dish a certain something.
Smoky and seductive, this pasta dish is familiar enough to be comforting, but unique enough to raise a few eyebrows. For this recipe I got my inspiration from Victor’s cooking blog.
Smoked Gouda Fusilli: Serves 4
375g dried whole wheat Fusilli
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
½ red bell pepper, diced
1 ½ tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup smoked Gouda, shredded
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 ½ tbsp whole grain mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Liberally salt the water and add pasta.
Cook according to package directions or until al dente.
Drain and toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside.
In a large skillet heat the rest of the olive oil over medium heat.
Add mushrooms, red pepper and rosemary. Sauté until tender.
Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small saucepan melt butter over moderate heat.
Whisk in the flour until it forms a paste.
Slowly whisk in milk until combined.
Cook until slightly thickened.
Reduce heat and whisk in cheese, stirring constantly until melted and fully incorporated.
Add mushrooms, pepper and rosemary to the sauce and stir to combine.
Pour over pasta and toss until coated.
Serve immediately with extra Gouda.