I was never a fan of Macaroni Cheese growing up – too often it to me tasted of well Macaroni & Cheese! A bit bland and not something I would seek out. Well this has all changed with a few additions and jazzing up my basic recipe. The secret to mine is adding sautéed garlic, mushroom & bacon and the flavour is just lovely.
400g Macaroni Elbows (can use any pasta – this day I needed to top up with spirals!)
8 bacon rashers sliced
10 – 15 button mushrooms sliced
1 heaped tsp crushed garlic
2 tsp butter
50 g Butter
2 Heaped Desert Spoons Flour
2 cups of Full Milk
Salt & Pepper to Taste
2-3 Cups Tasty Cheese – or whatever hard cheese you prefer
Cook Macaroni in boiling water according to packet instructions until al dente – different brands will cook to slightly different times. Once the macaroni is cooked drain and set aside.
Meanwhile melt butter in a small saucepan over a gentle heat and once melted add the flour – this will form a paste, cook for a few minutes until the paste begins to slightly foam & change consistency – do not allow to brown. If it looks too dry a little more butter or too wet a little more flour – you will eventually know the amounts with your eyes closed!
Using a whisk slowly add the milk to your flour & butter paste, I add half a cup at a time and whisk well in between – this ensures no lumps in your sauce.
Once all the milk is added simmer on a low heat until your sauce starts to thicken, stir often to ensure it does not stick on the bottom of the pan. Once your sauce is the consistency you desire – nice and thick so it coats the back of the spoon and falls in long slow ribbons, add salt & pepper to taste and set aside.
While the sauce is thickening pop 1 tsp butter in a frying pan and brown off the diced bacon, once this is crispy I add my mushrooms, the remaining butter & the heaped tsp of crushed (or fresh) garlic. Sauté until the mushrooms are cooked through.
In a large casserole bowl or dish add the drained pasta and the bacon mushroom mixture together & set aside.
Add all but 1/2 a cup of the cheese to your white sauce – the more cheese you add the more ‘cheesy’ and gooey your Macaroni will be!
Pour the cheese sauce over the Macaroni/Bacon and mix in well.
Sprinkle over the remaining cheese in top and back for 15-20 minutes in a moderate oven until the top is a lovely golden brown.
Yum! Cheesy, gooey, bacony, garlicy, mushroomy goodness! Perfect comfort food!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have.
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