Macaroni Cheese


There are many dishes that suit the winter months perfectly and Macaroni Cheese is by far my favourite.

My love affair with Mac and Cheese started at a very young age. It was my job to make the macaroni cheese for Sunday dinner. Back then it was a very simple mix of cheddar and English mustard and if I remembered spring onions. The result was more of a pasta pie, perfect with warm gravy and chicken.

Finished mac and cheese

Nowadays, my Mac and Cheese is more of a feast in itself on account of the four cheeses (yes four !!) used.

My recipe can be broken down into four steps:

Pasta.

Now I know that it should be macaroni but I prefer using Tortiglioni (its like Penne pasta but with ridges). The pasta is wide enough that bits of cheese can get in tubes and the ridges helps the sauce to clings to the pasta  better than macaroni in my opinion.  Tortiglioni also helps to give the dish its loose texture.

Sauce

I make a basic white sauce with a hint of nutmeg and then add my first cheese, Parmesan. I always keep the rind for this job. Instead of using a grater I use a peeler instead.

Mix 

When the pasta is prepared I like to mix in my second cheese Harrogate Blue, it’s my Other Half’s favourite and is a lot milder than Yorkshire blue.

Along with the cheese I add chorizo and spinach (if I am trying to appear healthy).

Mix

Topping 
I pour the sauce on top of the pasta mix and give it a quick stir before topping with Cheddar Cheese and Comte (as there’s always some in the house).

The best thing to serve on the side of my Mac and Cheese has to be a sizeable spoonful of Chipper Jam from the Harrogate Preserves Company

Mac and Cheese topping

If you fancy having a go the recipe is below.

Let me know what goes into your Mac and Cheese.

Nine servings

250g Tortiglioni or Penne
60g Butter
60g Plain flour
300ml Milk
25g Parmesan
Nutmeg to taste
100g Harrogate blue
55g cubed Chorizo
100g grated Cheddar cheese
50g grated Comte

  • Preheat the oven to 180C (Fan)
  • Place the pasta in boiling water and cook for 10-13 minutes.
  • To make the white sauce: Place the butter in a pan and melt.
  • Add in the flour and stir into a paste, cook the paste for two minutes stirring continuously.
  • Slowly add the milk to the paste until you get a smooth sauce.
  • Add the Parmesan and Nutmeg to the sauce.
  • Place the pasta into an ovenproof dish and distribute the Chorizo and Harrogate Blue evenly.
  • Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix in well.
  • Place the Cheddar and Comte over the top.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top.
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