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Macaroni and Cheese

07 Nov

(serves 3-4) 
A while back I came up with a ‘European’ version of Mac & Cheese, which contains a secret ingredient, bacon. When you want to add flavour to a vegetarian dish, use meat I always say. It’s great as a side dish or can be eaten on its own. I’ve also made it extra creamy by using mascapone and doing away with any kind of bread or flour.  I guess that sums up why my macaroni and cheese is European?   

Ingredients 

  1. Emmental (125g)
  2. Mascarpone (125 g)
  3. Cheddar Singles (4 slices)
  4. Farfalle Pasta  (3 cups)
  5. Onion (1/2)
  6. Bacon (5 slices)
  7. Milk (1/2 cup)
  8. Chicken Cube (1)
  9. Coriander Seed Powder
  10. Tarragon
  11. Brandy

Preparation

  1. The recipe starts off with a soffritto of bacon and onion. Cut your bacon and onion into pieces not exceeding 3x3mm in size. The smaller the better as they have to disintegrate into the cheese. The bacon needs to be almost frozen for you to accomplish this easily.  In a pan, heat the bacon until some of the fat liquifies and then add the onion bits.
  2. While the soffritto is frying, cut the Emmental into 1 cm cubes so that it fills half a cup. Take the opportunity to dissolve a chicken cube in 3/4 cup of hot water to make chicken stock. Mash the cube with a spoon to ensure it dissolves. At this point, preheat oven.
  3. When the onion softens, add the chicken stock and milk. Boil for 30 seconds. Next add the Mascarpone, then Emmental and finally the cheddar singles in that order, making sure the previous cheese has been fully mixed in and melted before adding the next one. Reduce this under low heat until you end up with about 2 cups of sauce. Flavour with 1t of white pepper, 1t of coriander seed powder, 1T of tarragon and 2T of brandy. Set aside.
  4. Now for the pasta.  Pick a pyrex or casserole dish where the raw pasta fills about half the container. Boil the pasta for five minutes (olive oil and pinch of salt in water before pasta) and then strain. 
  5. Place the pasta, which should still be hard, into the pyrex or casserole dish. Pour the the cheese mixture in and mix lightly. Bake for 20 minutes at about 180oC (350oF) or until cheese begins to brown.  

Notes

  • OK, I didn’t actually use macaroni. I’ve swapped in bowtie pasta for macaroni as coats and stacks well but really any type of non-noodle pasta will do.
  • Why am I using the yucky processed cheese instead of real cheddar? It melts well because of its inferiority and gives the cheese sauce just the right consistency by preventing the emmental from clumping. The emmental is the main flavour so don’t fret, no one will know there is processed cheese unless you tell them.
  • You can also choose to make the macaroni and cheese in individual portions by baking a seperate serving for each person in a ramekin.
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1 Comment

Posted by on November 7, 2009 in Italian, Main Courses, Pasta, Recipe

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

One response to “Macaroni and Cheese

  1. wine blog

    November 7, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Mac and Cheese is soooo under-rated! I’m not talking about the Kraft nasty kind, I’m talking the real stuff like this recipe. Not only is it wonderful tasting but it pairs well with all kinds of white wines. Love the blog! Cheerz

     

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