Macaroni and cheese. A family staple ready meal quickly prepared and very easy to eat but just what is the best recipe for mac and cheese for you and your family? The answer is a simple one and that is home prepared! Stay well away from packet mixes of mac and cheese since it simply is a waste of money and the taste is never the same as that you can make by following the below best ever mac and cheese recipe.
Most people will make use of dried macaroni pasta for this dish but if you want to take it to the next level look out for fresh macaroni in the supermarket – sure, it costs a little more but the results far surpass that of dried pasta – it will keep for several days in the refridgerator so can easily be on hand during the week.
I could talk more about the science of making the greatest macaroni and cheese but frankly you just want the recipe don’t you, so lets get this mac and cheese party started!
Mac and Cheese Ingredients
– 453g macaroni pasta (fresh is best)
– 5 tbs slightly salted butter
– 5 tbs plain good quality flour
– 591ml fresh milk (whole or semi skimmed) IMPORTANT – warm the milk
– 230g grated mature cheddar cheese
– 0.5 tsp salt
-25g bread crumbs (make your own and store it – simply blend some stale bread in a liquidizer, lay out on a baking sheet and warm on a low heat in the oven for 15 mins, leave to cool and crunch with your hands and store in an airtight container!)
Power up your oven and set it to 200c (400f) whilst we prepare the macaroni.
Method – Cook the Pasta
Bring to the boil sufficient water in a large pan and add a little salt , drop of olive oil and then carefully pour in your fresh macaroni. Bring to the boil again and reduce to a simmer – cooking time for the fresh pasta is around 5 minutes.
Make the Macaroni Cheese Sauce
Whilst the pasta is cooking with a medium sized saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat setting until bubbling. Add the flour and with a wooden spoon constantly stir the flour into the butter and continue to stir for about a minute (we need to ‘cook out’ the bitterness of the flour).
Then slowly add the milk and ditch the wooden spoon for a sturdy whisk and beat in about a third of the milk slowly pouring this into the pan whisking all the time – the sauce will thicken immediately but keep pouring the milk slowly until it is all used. You should now have a nice creamy white sauce the consistency of which should fall off the back of a spoon (this will take about 5 minutes, about the same time as your pasta).
Next add your grated cheese, stir and add some freshly grated pepper and salt to taste.
Drain the pasta and pour the macaroni into a baking dish, covering with the cheese sauce. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and a small amount of parmasan cheese and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden and crisp.
It’s as simple as that, smooth creamy macaroni pasta and cheese – serve it with crusty bread and a glass of your favourite vino! enjoy :)