Macaroni and Cheese is something I have never made before. I’m serious. For someone who loves creamy pasta dishes as much as me that is a pretty big thing.
But I wasn’t satisfied with plain Mac and Cheese – I had to add some bacon, and of course I shouldn’t forget the tomato slices on top. Those were just so I could pretend that this dish had some health benefits. I guess it also has plenty of calcium…..
The original recipe came from one of my collection – ‘The Beginner’s Cookbook’ – which was the first cookbook that my Mum bought for me when I moved out of home. It has come in very handy!
Ingredients – serves 4
- 150g/5oz diced bacon pieces
- 250g/9oz dried macaroni (either elbow or straight – I used straight)
- 60g/2oz butter
- 4 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour
- 2 cups milk
- 125g/4oz cream cheese, at room temperature, diced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or you could use wholegrain if you prefer)
- 250g/8oz grated cheese (your choice of cheese – I used Tasty)
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 60g/2oz dried breadcrumbs
- black pepper and dried herbs, to season
- Heat a non-stick frying pan and cook your bacon until crispy. Remove to a plate.
- Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the macaroni. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until just tender. Drain and return to the pan.
- Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan forced/375F.
- Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. To do this, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Once melted add the flour and cook, stirring, for a minute.
- Gradually blend in the milk then cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken.
- Add the cream cheese pieces and the mustard to the sauce and stir until smooth.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in 150g/5oz of the grated cheese.
- Pour the cooked pasta into a large ovenproof dish and top with the bacon.
- Top the pasta and bacon with the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle half the remaining grated cheese over the top of the mixture.
- Spread over the tomato slices, and then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs followed by the last of the grated cheese.
- Season with the black pepper and dried herbs.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes then serve.