Who doesn’t love pasta and cheese sauce baked until golden and crispy? Served with fried chicken, it has to be one of life’s ultimate comfort foods. Unlike my first macaroni and cheese recipe shared here on the blog, where I used a cornflour slurry as the thickening agent in my cheese sauce, this sauce is made using a roux of equal parts butter and flour.
This time I added the onion and tomatoes to the sauce, instead of layering it separately, like I did in the first recipe. I also left out the mozzarella cheese, and only used cheddar cheese. Garlic, cayenne pepper and paprika are also new additions that were not included in the first recipe. It’s so simple and easy to make, and so satisfyingly good to eat.
Come on … join me … and savour the satisfying taste of home-made comfort food.
The Pasta And Cheese recipe …
Cooks: 60 minutes Serves: 8 Level: Easy
- 500g macaroni, cooked
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) cooking oil
- 200g bacon, diced
- 60ml (¼ cup) butter
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 10ml (2 teaspoons) garlic, minced
- 60ml (¼ cup) flour
- 1L (4 cups) milk
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) mustard powder
- 10ml (2 teaspoons) paprika
- 5ml (1 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
- 500ml (2 cups) grated cheddar, plus extra 750ml (3 cups) for topping
- Salt and pepper
Pasta And Cheese Method
Heat the oil in a medium non-stick pot on medium to high heat.
Add the bacon and fry until cooked and crispy.
Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside.
Now add the butter and onion to the pot, and sauté until golden brown.
Add the tomatoes and garlic, and cook until soft.
Then add the flour and coat the ingredients well before slowly adding the milk.
Now add the mustard powder, paprika and cayenne pepper to the sauce.
Add the cheese and season with the salt and pepper
Turn down the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180ᴼC and grease a large non-stick ovenproof dish.
Layer half of the macaroni in the dish and cover it with half of the sauce.
Now layer all of the bacon over the sauce.
Repeat the layers with the remaining macaroni and sauce, before topping it with the extra cheddar cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes until cooked, bubbling and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve and enjoy your Pasta And Cheese
Pasta And Cheese Useful Tips
500g macaroni is roughly about 5 cups of uncooked macaroni.
Cook the macaroni al dente (firm) as it will cook further in the sauce while baking.
If you’ve added sufficient salt to the water when cooking the macaroni, and you’ve seasoned the sauce well, don’t season the different layers again. Remember, the bacon and cheddar also adds a salty flavour.
Don’t add too much oil when cooking the bacon. This can affect the ratio of flour to fat in your roux and spoil your sauce.
If you can resist the temptation, allow the macaroni and cheese to rest for a few minutes after baking. This will allow the sauce to thicken.
Author: Mauricia Jordaan