Mac n cheese

Mac n cheese is the sum of three processes; cook pasta + make cheese sauce + bake for ½ an hour. This recipe is from my husband Jon’s notes, and serves 6, generously.

½ lb pasta (Jon uses small penne, but use macaroni if you prefer)
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
Mac n Cheese illustration for classic mac n cheese recipe3 cups milk
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 ½ cups grated sharp white cheddar
1 cup grated gruyere
½ cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper

  • Pre heat the oven to 370
  • Put on a pan of water to boil. Once it is boiling, add the pasta, salt generously, then set a timer for two minutes less than the cooking time on the box – we’re going for very al dente
  • Pour the milk into a small pan (or microwave jug). Add the garlic clove (peeled) and the bay leaf, then heat until just simmering
  • Melt the butter in a pan, then stir in the flour. Mix together into a paste, and cook for 2 mins
  • Add the milk in a few batches, stirring in the flour butter paste – I use a little whisk
  • Cook the sauce until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg, then add the cheese (reserving a little of each to sprinkle on the top) and cook very gently until it melts
  • By now the pasta should be ready. Drain and run under the cold tap to get rid of the starch – it makes the sauce smoother in the end
  • Toss the pasta in the cheese sauce then tip into an oven dish, top with the remaining cheese (or just grate some more over) and bake for 30 mins

If you like a crunchy topping, sprinkle ½ cup of breadcrumbs over the top of the pasta along with the cheese before baking

This recipe initially appeared in a post about one of my husband’s favourite foods and a dish he learned to cook growing up.

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