If you have ever managed to have a lucid thought while eating this gooey, delicious dish, it may have been to wonder how macaroni and cheese — American cheese melted into a traditional British white sauce served over Italian pasta. I tried to search throguh the history of this English Classic, and found some interesting facts here, here and here.
It is important to use pungent cheeses in this Classic English Comfort Bake, such as sharp cheddar, mixed with a little Parmesan for that extra bite, since the white sauce and pasta will absorb a lot of flavor. The type of cheese used will also affect the sauce’s texture: Sharp white cheddar produces the smoothest result; yellow and extra sharp cheddars can become grainy. A good Italian brand of dried elbow macaroni will give the best consistency. By using a combination of cheeses, you get intense cheese flavor and the perfect creaminess. You can play around with the combination of cheeses like I have chosen red Leicester Cheese– some like to add a little Blue cheese and others prefer Feta. Whatever you choose, make sure you have some cheddar in the mix!
This recipe which I am posting here though is not the usual one. It is different in many ways like I have used Pumpkin Seeds and Tomatoes in my recipe and that gives a very distant flavor. And I haven’t used Bread crumbs at all, which is a common base for the classic recipe. Try this different recipe for a change from the regular Mac N Cheese.
When the smell of butter and browning cheese makes your stomach growl, you’ll know the dish is ready to eat.:D 😀 😀 Once you have mastered this sauce and made the Mac n Cheese from scratch, you’ll never go back to the boxed mixes again! Have fun creating memories with your family!! 🙂
What you need ?
- 1 1/2 cup uncooked Macaroni Pasta
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 1 cup Mature Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives ( optional)
- 2 cups Bechamel Sauce
- Salt and Black Pepper
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 cup Red Leicester Cheese (optional, can be substituted with Mozzarella Cheese)
- 2 tbsp Pumpkin seeds
- Fresh herbs, to garnish
How to Make?
- Bring on a Large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni for 8-10 minutes. Drain well and place in an ovenproof dish
- Stir the beaten Egg, Cheddar Cheese, Mustard and chives into the Bechamel Sauce with salt and Pepper.
- Spoon the mixture over the macaroni, making sure it is well covered. Top with a layer of the sliced tomatoes
- Sprinkle the red Leicester Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds over the top.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and serve at once.
- Under cook your pasta so that it is the slightest bit crunchy (very al dente) in the center, then rinse it under cold water. This stops the cooking and washes off the excess starch. You might think that starch would be useful in further thickening the casserole, but it isn’t; as it bakes, that extra starch merely expands and lends a mealy texture to your sauce.
- A generous amount of butter has to be used while preparing this sauce and dont frget to use hot milk instead of cold. The starch from the cooked flour expands in the milk, creating a thick, creamy sauce. The starch binds the sauce, so that when the cheese is stirred in, the result is creamy and smooth, not stringy and curdled.