How To: Grown Up Macaroni Cheese

Yum! Credit @ Stephanie Newton

Macaroni cheese – a classic recipe that is certain to provide comfort, satisfaction and (usually) a hint of nostalgia. Unfortunately, macaroni cheese is not the most nutritious or creative of meals. So here’s a version that’s slightly more grown up friendly┬áthat you can present to your friends or simply feed the family with!

What you’ll need:

  • Half a bag of rigatoni (Or macaroni if you’re a purist…)
  • Cheese sauce (Homemade with a roux or from powder is fine!)
  • One beef tomato
  • Half an onion
  • One small pack unsmoked lardons (or diced back bacon)
  • Gruyere
  • Cheddar
  • Mozzarella
  • A handful of basil
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper

How to do it:

  1. Cook the rigatoni (or your pasta of choice) as usual in salted, boiling water
  2. Drain the pasta and set aside
  3. Slice the beef tomato and dice the onion
  4. Grate as much of each chosen cheese as you like (I used mostly cheddar as gruyere has quite a strong flavour)
  5. Begin to make your cheese sauce, either from scratch with flour, milk and cheese or using a sachet. Be sure to stir regularly to create a lump-free sauce of the right consistency
  6. Sprinkle some cheddar into your cheese sauce (if you’ve made yours from scratch, skip this step)
  7. Whilst your cheese sauce is finishing cooking, fry the bacon lardons til crispy
  8. Add the diced onion to the pan with the lardons in to partially cook them
  9. Combine pasta, cheese sauce, onions and lardons in a large bowl
  10. Season with lots of paprika, garlic and black pepper
  11. Add half of your combination of cheese and mix
  12. Place your pasta mixture in an oven proof baking dish
  13. Layer the sliced tomato on top of the pasta bake
  14. Top with the rest of your cheese, a last grind of black pepper and a handful of basil leaves
  15. Heat in the oven on gas mark 6 for 25-30 minutes
  16. Serve and enjoy!

 

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