Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
Cheesy macaroni is a great family and flatters' staple. This recipe, loaded with cheese, is easy to make, and with a few variations and flavours added, it will make a delicious meal in minutes.
2 cups grated cheddar-style cheese (see notes)
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons soft butter
2 cups milk
In a saucepan, toss together the grated cheese, flour and butter. Add the milk and stir over a moderate heat until the sauce thickens. Do not boil. Season with salt and white pepper.
4-5 cups cooked pasta shapes (see notes)
3-4 slices ham, diced
100 grams blue cheese or feta, crumbled
1/2 cup extra grated cheese, or use sliced Brie or camembert
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Toss the pasta shapes with the cheese sauce, ham and blue cheese or feta. Pile into a 6-7 cup-capacity oven-proof dish and scatter the extra grated or sliced cheese on top. Alternatively bake in 4 individual oven-proof dishes for about 30 minutes until hot and golden.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden and hot. Serve with vegetables or a salad.
Use pasta shapes that have grooves such as spirals, as the grooves in the pasta will hold the sauce better than smoother styles.
Use cheddar-style cheeses that melt easy such as Colby, Edam and Gruyere. Aged cheddars if overheated will become stringy and give the sauce a grainy texture.
If re-heating macaroni cheese that has been refrigerated, drizzle some milk on top before reheating; it will help soften the macaroni which will have become quite firm after refrigeration.
Try one of these Macaroni cheese flavour combinations, just stir in with the pasta: Mexican, add diced jalapeno peppers, pinch chilli or Mexican chilli powder, with a handful of frozen corn; Italian, add diced sundried tomatoes, diced salami, and a good handful of chopped fresh oregano or a little dried; English, add a good dash of Worcestershire sauce, a spoonful or two of mustard and diced ham or diced roast beef.