1 pound ground chorizo
3 Tbsp smoked butter (or regular butter)
1 1/4 Tbsp standard flour
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
2 cups whole milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 panko bread crumbs
Heat oven to 420 F or 220°C. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Set aside a medium size baking dish.
Heat a dry pot on high heat. Add chorizo and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove from pot and set aside. Reserve pot and return to medium heat.
Add smoked butter to pot and melt. Once melted add flour and paprika to pot and stir continuously until butter and flour foam. Add milk and 1/2 tsp salt and bring to the boil, whisking to combine. Once boiling, cook for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Stir through cheese and cooked chorizo. Season to taste and set aside.
Place a lid on pot with cheese sauce inside or cover with cling film. Place wood chips in smoker, place smoking gun hose under the lid or cover. Turn smoker on and ignite wood chips. Fill pot with smoke (about 30 seconds - 1 minute), cover tightly with lid and allow to infuse for about 10 minutes while the pasta cooks.
Cook pasta in pot of boiling water for about 7 minutes or as per packet instructions, until almost tender and drain well.
Remove lid from sauce, allow smoke to escape and the whisk to incorporate the smoke flavor. Fold cheese sauce through pasta and transfer to baking dish. Smooth out, sprinkle over panko bread crumbs and sprinkle over a little more cheese. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes until golden. For extra crispiness, grill for 2-3 minutes.
When serving if you want a little more smoke or to serve with a dramatic smoky photo op for your guest, simple serve, cover with a bowl, lid or cling film. Fill with smoke, allow to sit for 1-2 minutes then remove the cover table side.