Macaroni Cheese – serves 6

500 g penne                                   
Butter for greasing dish
30 ml butter                                 
30  ml corn flour
5 ml butter to enrich sauce           
500 ml grated mature cheddar
3 large ripe tomatoes,                   
60 ml bread crumbs
  skinned & sliced                          
salt & milled black pepper
White sauce:
800 ml full cream milk                   
5 ml mustard powder
3 bay leaves                                   
2 sprigs each, fresh thyme & parsley
1 medium onion sliced up                 
1 strip of lemon peel
1.        Cook penne in well salted water, until ‘al dente’.
2.       Preheat oven top 180*C (350*F).
3.       Butter a 2,5 litre rectangular dish lavishly.
4.       Pour milk into saucepan, add the mustard, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, sliced onion & lemon peel.
5.       Heat until boiling, remove from heat & allow to stand to infuse.
6.       Melt butter in small heavy based saucepan until foaming.
7.       Remove from heat & stir in the corn flour briskly until incorporated.
8.       Return saucepan to heat & stir constantly over LOW heat until butter & corn flour thicken to a paste. Remove from heat.
9.       Pour the hot strained milk in a steady stream, into the butter mixture, beating vigorously to blend thoroughly.
10.    Gather in all the bits of roux from the edges of the saucepan.
11.     Simmer (barely bubbling) over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce starts to boil.
12.    Allow to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula or spoon. Remove from stove.
13.    Add 5 ml butter, salt, milled black pepper & whisk briskly for a second or two, until thick & shiny.
14.    Add half the cheese stirring constantly, until cheese has melted.
15.    Layer cooked penne, well seasoned tomato slices into the greased dish.
16.    Pour over the cheese sauce, add extra bay leaves, dot with butter & sprinkle with bread crumbs. & rest of cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until top becomes crisp & golden.

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