Don’t mess around with macaroni

I recently took part in The Cheesslover’s Mac’n’Cheese Challenge with a tarted up version of the classic dish made with blue cheese and broccoli. Admittedly, it was pretty tasty, but I did wonder if it’s such a good idea to mess around with a dish like macaroni cheese, or if its essence is actually its simplicity.

Earlier this week I was in the mood for something stodgy, and couldn’t really be arsed to cook anything spectacular, so I went for good old mac and cheese, made simply with a white sauce, cheesed up with a load of mature cheddar and some hard sheep’s cheese from Browns of Brockley. I’m normally all about pimping recipes, but free of embellishment, this particular dish was effing delicious.

My restraint with the butter meant the sauce probably wasn’t as good as it should have been, but ultimately, I concluded mac’n’cheese should be just that. Pasta + cheese. (and a bit of mustard to enhance the flavour – oh, and those tomatoes I threw on! Gotta love a roasted tomato. Helps you kid yourself there’s some health in there, without altering the rest of the dish).

Recipe after the jump…

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

200g macaroni (or other tubular pasta)

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of plain flour

1 teaspoon of mustard (English, French, whatevs)

250mls milk

A shit-load of cheese – no need to measure, just a good helping of mature cheddar/other strong hard cheese. Add a little at a time, stop when it is cheesy enough for you


1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved


Boil pasta according to packet instructions, drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in flour to make a paste. Fry for 2-3mins on a med heat, stirring constantly.

Add the milk and bring to the boil whilst whisking. As the sauce thickens on boiling, remove from the heat and stir in the cheese (saving some to top) and mustard. Season, stir into pasta, and pour into a baking dish.

Top with a good coating of cheese, followed by the tomatoes and bake at 200C for 20-25 mins until cheese is browned and crisp.

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One Response to “Don’t mess around with macaroni”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    I really do love macaroni cheese, as unhealthy as it is – simple is best, I’d say.

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