A simple no frills dish that’s perfect for weekends or a supper time dish and a good addition to a get together, can be made in advance and served cold if you wish. Just a tasty and easy food, there are many ways to make this dish including some healthier options. I find macaroni and cheese the perfect dish for a quick treat after a hike, perhaps even packed up for the hike ahead or just a homely yummy supper. When I make a batch of Mac and Cheese I like to go over the top and make extra so I can freeze individual portions, it comes in really handy on a hectic day. Serve as you please with a salad or wonderful with a yummy ciabatta garlic bread if you’re not counting the calories! One of my favorite additions is a toasted slice of Home Baked Olive and Tomato Bread.
3 Tablespoons of Plain Flour
2 Tablespoons of Butter
1 Clove of Garlic (or half a teaspoon of powdered garlic will suffice)
350g 12oz of any kind of short pasta. My preference is the wholemeal shell type. (Conchiglie)
250g 9oz of Grated Mature Cheddar. My personal preference is a half fat version.
50g 2oz Grated Parmesan Cheese. Or vegetarian alternative. I prefer instead to add 50g 2oz of Blue Stilton.
1 Large teaspoon of Wholegrain Mustard. You can use other types of mustard if you prefer.
500ml 1pt whole milk
Pinch of salt and pepper.
Additional options; A head of fresh broccoli or a good handful of frozen broccoli if fresh is not available. Works equally as well with cauliflower. Works best if steamed then added into the dish with the pasta and cheese sauce.
A medium sized deep pie or casserole dish. A large saucepan for boiling the pasta. Medium sized pan for the cheese sauce. A steamer or pan for the broccoli. A wooden spoon. A Whisk. Grater for the cheese.
First preheat your oven to 180c/Gas mrk 6 /200c Fan Assisted.
Boil the pasta on a steady heat until almost cooked then take off the stove and drain.
To prepare the rich cheese sauce melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped clove of garlic along with the mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper cook gently for a minute before adding the flour, stirring continually cook for a further minute before slowly and gradually adding the pint of milk, or enough milk for the sauce consistency you prefer. I like to use a whisk whilst adding the milk to keep the sauce lump free. Simmer gently whilst whisking for another few minutes then stir in the cheese a little at a time with a wooden spoon, keep back enough grated cheese to sprinkle over the top of the dish.
Into the deep casserole dish, put the pre-cooked pasta and pour over the tasty cheese sauce and turn it about until all is coated then top with a generous sprinkle of cheese.
(Can be frozen at this stage in individual portions or as a family size dish in a freeze proof container. Defrost thoroughly before cooking.)
Bake for around 20 mins until the cheese topping melts to a light golden brown. Serving suggestion; a salad and garlic ciabatta or a toasted slice of Olive and Tomato Specialty Bread work great together with this dish. Bon Appetite!