If there’s something that reminds me of my childhood it’s mac and cheese. In my house they made them out of a box and were a bright yellow colour but I LOVED them. I didn’t eat them often but when I did they made me so happy. Later on I learnt how to eat more “adult” versions of it without any food colouring and loved how they taste when they’re popped under the broiler with breadcrumbs on top.
When you go to buy your cheddar cheese, always check the ingredients at the back. A few brands have made us believe that cheddar cheese is bright yellow “by nature” but it actually isn’t and the ones that have that colour is because they have food colouring. Try to find cheeses that are pale yellow and it’s even better if they have been matured for a more intense flavour.
If you can’t find macaroni at the store you can use another type of pasta as long as it has holes or a spiral shape because they trap the sauce.This way you get a nice amount of cheese sauce in your bite.
It’s not compulsory to but the mac and cheese under the broiler but GOD is it good! That crispy top really adds so much to this dish. Oh and if you don’t have or can’t find panko you can use regular breadcrumbs.
Mac and Cheese
For the pasta
- 250 g macaroni or other pasta with holes or shaped like a spiral
- 1 tbsp salt
- water to cook the macaroni
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter (optional, see instructions)
For the cheese sauce
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 50 g all purpose flour
- 800 ml milk (can be skimmed)
- 150 g cheddar cheese, grated
- 50 g mozzarella cheese, grated
- to taste salt and pepper
Before taking to the broil
- 30 g panko or regular breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the pasta
Boil the water with the salt. Once heavily boiling add the pasta and let cook.
Take out of the water once al dente and if the sauce is not ready yet add a tbsp of butter and mix so they don't stick to each other.
For the sauce
Melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk them together over medium heat and let them cook for a minute starting from the point where they start to bubble.
Take off the heat and add the milk little by little, whisking in between. This helps avoid lumps forming.
Take back to medium heat and cook while we stir with the whisk. Once it has started to boil you can turn off the heat since it means the flour has now completely cooked.
Add the cheeses and mix until completely melted.
Taste and adjust the level of salt and add pepper.
Mix the sauce with the macaroni.
Put the mac and cheese in individual over-safe dishes or a large dish so everyone can take some.
Mi the panko with the butter and salt and sprinkle over the dishes.
Take to the oven on broil until golden.