Pepato Cheese and Artichoke Bake

Pepato Cheese is similar to romano but studded with whole black peppercorns, and it makes a wonderful addition to mac and cheese. In this recipe, it's combined with gouda, artichokes, mushrooms and leeks.

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Servings: 8


  • 1 pound elbow pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup leeks, white part only, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin gouda cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin pepato cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chives, chopped and divided
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs


Cook macaroni according to package directions; rinse, drain and reserve.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt butter in large saucepan until sizzling. Add mushrooms, leeks, and garlic, and sauté over medium heat approximately 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Add cream, stir, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low; add cheeses, stirring constantly, just until melted. Stir in the mustard, salt, pepper, artichokes, and 3 tablespoons of chives. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

Gently stir in cooked macaroni, mixing well. Spoon into a buttered 3-quart, oven-proof baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is browned. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of chives before serving.

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Semi-soft and semi-hard cheese, like Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Mozzarella, should be very cold for easy grating.