Thursday, 8 October 2015

super creamy penne macaroni plus comfort & joy



Hey guys! Hope you’re having a lovely day. I didn’t want to not post this week so I’m bringing you another savoury recipe (what’s wrong with me?!) I’ve had a very busy (and exciting) week or so, and now it’s all over. I thought what better way to celebrate than to make macaroni cheese? Macaroni cheese rates high up on my list of essential comfort foods. Few things get better much than gooey cheesy pasta with a slightly crispy golden topping. It’s another favourite one dish meal and perfect for lazy days being simple to make and of course delicious!
I’ve made mine with a hint of spices (naturally) and the tiny flecks of chopped onion in the white sauce add a beautiful sweetness.

The sensible thing would be to eat this with a salad but you know I don’t do things by halves. So a piece of hot, toasty garlic bread and maybe some fried chicken is the perfect accompaniment. Jerk chicken is also delicious as a spicy addition to this creamy dish. This macaroni is so comforting and a pure joy to eat. Anyway I am off to gather provisions for a baking marathon this weekend so that I can return to my normal self and post something sweet for next time! Au revoir!

Ingredients
200g penne pasta
500ml milk
40g butter
40g flour
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
150g extra mature cheddar - grated
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 small onion finely chopped

Method
Cook pasta until al dente as per packet instructions with a pinch of salt added to the water. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 200c or 180c (fan) /gas mark 5.

Heat up milk with bay leaf, salt, spices and chopped onions and simmer for about 5 minutes and set aside for the white sauce.

To make the white, add butter to a large pan on medium heat and quickly work in the flour with a whisk, and mix for about 30 seconds. Lower the temperature and incorporate a dash of the milk to soften the butter and flour mix and then add the rest of the milk until the sauce thickens to the consistency of pouring cream and turn off the heat. This takes about 5 minutes on low heat.

Take out the bay leaf and add half of the grated cheese and mix in the pasta. Pour mixture into a large oven-proof dish and lay the remaining cheese evenly on top.


Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden on top. For an extra crispy top place under the grill for 5 minutes. 

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