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Mac and Cheese

 

Prep Time: 10minutes

Baking Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hours 10 minutes

Serves: 6-8 people

Cuisine: Side

Skill Level: Easy

 

INGREDIENTS

FOR MACARONI:

  • 250g / 8 oz macaroni (elbow pasta)
  • 1 tbsp (15g) unsalted butter (or 2 tsp oil)

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp salt

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 4 tbsp (60g) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup flour, plain / all-purpose
  • 3 cups milk, warmed (low or full fat)
  • 2 cups freshly shredded cheese
  • 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese, or more other cheese of choice 
  • 3/4 tsp salt

FOR THE SEASONING:

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder

 

PASTA:

  • Cook pasta: Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add macaroni and cook per packet directions MINUS 1 minute.
  • Toss in butter: Drain, return pasta to pot, add butter and toss until melted. Set aside to cool while making the sauce.

TOPPING:

  • Mix together Topping. Set aside.

SAUCE:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (all oven types).
  • Make roux: In a large saucepan or in an ovenproof skillet (I use my 26cm/9″ Lodge cast iron skillet), melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Add milk: Add about 1 cup of the milk and mix to dissolve the paste into the milk. Then add remaining milk and mix until lump free (use whisk if required).
  • Add Seasonings: Mix in salt and Seasonings if using.
  • Thicken sauce: Cook, stirring/whisking regularly, for 5 – 8 minutes until thickened to a cream consistency. When the Sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon, you should be able to draw a path with your finger.
  • Add cheese: Remove from stove, add cheese and stir – cheese doesn’t need to melt.
  • Check salt: Adjust salt to taste (if you use recommended cheeses, you won’t need more).

ASSEMBLING:

  • Assemble: Pour Sauce into pot with Macaroni. Stir quickly, then pour back into the skillet (I did this) or a baking dish (Note 4). Sprinkle with breadcrumb topping.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until top is light golden. Don’t bake too long otherwise you’ll bake away the Sauce!
  • Serve: Serve immediately! I sprinkled mine with a bit of fresh parsley. See notes for best make-ahead method.

 

SHOPPING LIST

Nick & Sue’s Deli or Camberwell Market Deli

  • butter
  • flour
  • milk
  • fresh mozzarella cheese
  • macaroni pasta
  • panko bread crumbs

Camberwell Fruit & Veggie:

  • Basil
  • Rocket

Pantry:

  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • mustard powder
  • salt