|Mac and Cheese||
- Pasta. Macaroni, Penne, something similar
- Salted Butter. 50g or so.
- Plain Flour. 4-6 tablespoons.
- Milk. I use semi skimmed. Considering the cheese, skimmed is pointless. a pint or so.
- Seasonings for the sauce. see Notes
- Cheese. Something strong. a mature cheddar. Around 200-250 grams.
- More cheese to cover the top.
- Measure an appropriate amount of pasta out. I made this in a 2.5l pyrex dish, using enough Penne to 3/4 fill it dry. Cook the pasta according to the instructions. While it’s cooking, follow the rest of the instructions.
- Put the oven on. 180 degrees C or so.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
- Once it’s all melted and gently bubbling, add the flour a bit at a time, mixing it into the butter. You’re wanting a paste that can be moved around, leaving the pan bare behind it. Let it cook for a couple of minutes, to get rid of a floury taste. (This is a Roux)
- Add some of the milk, mixing it into the paste. Continue to add portions of the milk, letting it heat in between. keep mixing, to stop it burning on the bottom of the pan.
- Add seasonings to the sauce.
- Add the cheese to the hot milk mixture. You’re wanting to melt the cheese into the sauce.
- Once all the cheese is melted, and the pasta is cooked, mix it together in the pan. you want to give everything a good coating of sauce.
- Put it all in an ovenproox container. I used a long 2.5l pyrex dish. Cover the top with more cheese (to taste)
- Put it in the oven for 20 minutes or so.
- Serve with side dishs of choice. Peas, for example. Or nothing.
This is just a white sauce, with cheese mixed into it. The flour is added to the butter to form what’s known as a roux. This stops it being lumpy when the milk is added. Letting the milk boil isn’t a problem, as long as you don’t let it keep boiling.
Pepper works, as does mustard. These are entirely optional though, and to taste. You don’t want to overpower the cheese. Some people like adding baby tomatoes to the top, before it goes in the oven.