Apologies, the photos are a bit rubbish, I just snapped them with my phone.
This recipe is one that I came up with to make macaroni cheese just that little bit better, and with more taste than my older versions. Adding the garlic brings out a fabulously strong taste that is just enough for me to taste but not as much as will put the kids off eating it.
I tend to make macaroni and cheese when I don’t have much time and the kids are saying they’re ravenous. I always have some grated cheese in the freezer and just put it in the microwave on defrost for a few minutes before putting it into my white sauce.
If you don’t have the traditional shaped macaroni, you can use almost any other pasta that you have for a similar effect. I also used to use mozarella, but have now moved to a stronger cheddar, which the kids seem to prefer.
Go on, experiment with your pasta.
Macaroni Cheese Recipe
- 500 g Macaroni Pasta
- 400 g Mature Cheddar Cheese Grated
- 1 Onion Peeled and Chopped
- 8 Cherry Tomatoes Halved
- 1 clove Garlic Peeled and Chopped
- 1 l Semi Skimmed Milk
- 50 g Butter
- 2 tablespoons Cornflour
- Teaspoon Salt
Pop the macaroni pasta into a pan to cook. Add salt, onion and garlic and let it simmer for 15 minutes. If you prefer, you can shallow fry your onions and garlic before adding them to your pasta. When your pasta is cooked, use a colander to drain it, and run at least two kettles full of boiling water through the pasta to take away all the starch.
You might prefer to make a roux to make your sauce (ie cook flour and butter until it forms and then add milk slowly until it is a smooth mixture). I tend to put my milk into a pan, pop in the butter and let it heat up to almost boiling, and then take it off the heat to add a mix of cornflour and a little cold milk to thicken my sauce, and put it back on the heat to cook in, just in the same way as I would do to thicken gravies etc.
Put the oven on to heat at around 190C and butter an ovenproof dish. For these quantities, I use a big stone dish that does the job well. you might find you need to split this over a couple of dishes to finish it off in the oven.
Take the white sauce off the heat and add in 300g of cheddar gradually. Put in a handful and stir until it is melted. You can put it back on a low heat while it is melting.
Once the cheddar is all melted, pop the macaroni into the sauce and mix well before pouring into the prepared dish for oven baking.
Sprinkle 100g Grated Cheddar Cheese on the top of your dish and place your halved cherry tomatoes.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until the top begins to show a golden brown colour.
We don’t always have time to make lots of different sauces to finish a popular dish at home. Some great meat from a local butcher can be eked out really well to ensure there’s enough food for a whole family.
I made this lasagne with good meat and cheap sauce. It’s delicious and you can vary it as much as you want by adding herbs and spices. This recipe gave me enough for one night fresh, and I froze the rest for another night.
Quick and Easy Mince and Baby Sweetcorn Lasagne
- 1 kg Mince
- 200 g Baby Sweetcorn Cut into thirds.
- 200 g Petit Pois
- 1 Large Onion Chopped.
- 2 Jars Dolmio Bolognaise Sauce
- 2 Jars Lasagne White Sauce
- Lasagne Sheets
- Olive Oil
Add a little olive oil to a frying pan or thick bottomed pan. Fry the onions gently until they are soft, but not brown.
Add the mince and use a wooden spoon to bash it down and separate it as it browns and cooks.
Add in the baby sweetcorn, peas and 2 jars of Bolognaise Sauce, simmer for 5 minutes.
Add half of your mince mix to the bottom of a baking tray or large dish.
Line the top of the mince with lasagne sheets and pour over the remainder of your mince mix.
Add another layer of lasagne sheets and simply pour over the jars of white sauce.
Cover with tin foil and bake at 180 degrees for 35 minutes.
Check to see if your lasagne sheets have gone soft, if they have, remove the tin foil and bake for a further 10 minutes to begin browning the top. This is an optional choice.
Serve and garnish.
My two favourite produce providers are the reason for the fabulously speedy wolfing down of Spaghetti Bolognese for our evening meal. It’s amazing how much difference the taste of good meat and vegetables makes to the enjoyment of what we eat.
The same Scotty Brand carrots used to make the Carrot and Orange Soup, added a lovely sweetness. Combined with the gorgeously tasting steak mince from Andrew Gordon Butchery and Fine Foods in Aberdeen, the two ingredients made for a fantastic meal.
Feel free to use half portions. I had three adults and four children to feed with these proportions.
- 1kg Steak Mince
- 1 Large Onion
- 5 Large Carrots
- Teaspoon Turmeric
- Teaspoon Cinnamon or Nutmeg
- 500g Carton of Passata
- Salt & Pepper
- Rapeseed Oil
- 500g Spaghetti
- 50g Butter (Optional)
- Brown mince in a thick bottomed pan, or a good frying pan on a low heat. I added a couple of tablespoons of Rapeseed Oil to help it along.
- Chop onions finely and add to the browning mince.
- Slice carrots and add to the pan.
- Boil the kettle and add a pint of water to the mix. Leave to simmer for 25 minutes, and top up the water if necessary.
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Put the pasta on to cook.
- Once the mince has simmered, add the tub of passata, turmeric and either cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Simmer the passata and mince mix for 5 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and use boiled water to rinse the spaghetti until it runs clear.
- Add the butter to the pasta if you like the taste, and mix it through.
- Serve immediately.