Possibly the most common recipe I have to continually look in my cookbook is the macaroni and cheese recipe. My kids request it almost every week now.
I was wondering about the elbow-shaped pasta very common in the Philippines which is usually used for this recipe. The fact is, I cannot find it here among the local UK supermarkets. The only places I saw them are in - surprise, surprise - Pinoy food shops. So I normally use penne or rigatoni pasta or any tube pasta except, ironically, macaroni itself. The macaronis here are quite small and thick. I'd really prefer a lighter bite on the pasta hence the choice of other pasta shapes.
As expected, I adopted the recipe from The Ultimate Recipe Book. I think I'll be cooking virtually every recipe in there. It suggested putting breadcrumbs as a topping. But everytime I did I end up coughing and choking on the little breadcrumb grains. So that is definitely off with only the cheese adorning the top.
Macaroni & Cheese
350 g of grated cheese (any combination of Cheddar, Parmesan, and Gruyere)
500 g tube pasta (penne, rigatoni, macaroni, etc.)
1 liter [4 cups] full-fat milk
65 g [1/4 cup] butter
1/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
- Reserve about 1/3 cup of the grated cheese for topping.
- Boil and cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add in the flour. Cook for about 2 minutes while continually stirring.
- Stir in the milk about 1 cup at a time. Bring to gentle boil while making sure to stir until smooth before adding the next 1 cup in.
- Once all the milk is in, simmer over low heat for about 4 minutes while stirring from time to time.
- Remove from heat. Add the mustard, stir until blended. Add the cheese, stir until blended as well.
- Add in salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix in with the pasta. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch heatproof dish. Sprinkle the reserved grated cheese on top.
- [Optional] Bake for 10 minutes in an oven at 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F.
- Grill for about 5 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Serve while still hot.
Variation: Replace the reserved cheese topping with fresh breadcrumbs - process two slices of fresh bread (you may remove the crust) in a food chopper or processor and sprinkle on top of the pasta before baking.