Everyone calls it ‘macaroni cheese’ but any short pasta will work for this classic dis – fusilli or penne are probably the best substitutes. If you are using gluten free pasta try to get corn or buckwheat pasta. many of the GF pastas available are rice-based and that one has a lamentable habit of ‘overcooking’ very quickly.
As with frittata there has to be a few thousand variations on the Mac Cheese theme but here is a basic to start you off.
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 500ml whole milk
- 300g grated mature cheddar
- 1 tsp English mustard powder
- 350g spiral or other short pasta
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
- Boil 350g spiral or short pasta for 2 mins less than stated on the pack, then drain well
- Melt 2 tbsp butter in a saucepan.
- Add 1 tsp English mustard powder, cook for 1 min, then stir in 3 tbsp plain flour.
- Cook for 1 min more, then gradually whisk in 500ml whole milk until you have a lump-free sauce. Simmer for 5 mins, whisking all the time until thickened.
- Take off the heat, then stir in 250g grated mature cheddar
- Stir the pasta and some seasoning into the cheesy sauce.
- Tip into a large ovenproof dish, or 4 individual dishes.
- Scatter with remaining 50g grated cheese, then bake for 20 mins until crisp and golden.
Variations to try
- Partially-cooked broccoli (or any non-root crop veg you care to mention)
- Grilled bacon pieces
- Caramelised onion
- Jalepeno chillis (go easy on this one!)
- add some paprika to the cheese sauce – or garlic – or a little curry paste
note image used is stock photo