Macaroni cheese is a favourite in our family so I like to add extra goodness by including vegetables and eggs in my recipe. Be warned. Once you’ve tried this recipe you may never be satisfied with plain macaroni and cheese again.
1 cup uncooked macaroni
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup grated tasty cheese
½ cauliflower, cut into small florets
½ can creamed sweetcorn
½ cup frozen peas
2 – 3 hardboiled eggs
4 rashers bacon
½ – 1 cup grated cheese
2-3 slices bread or packet breadcrumbs
Cook the macaroni, cauliflower and bacon
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add 1 cup macaroni and stir to loosen all the pieces. Cook the macaroni at a rolling boil for 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Add the cauliflower to the pot halfway through.
When cooked, drain the macaroni and cauliflower into a sieve and rinse with water to stop the macaroni sticking. Put aside until it’s needed.
While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a separate pan.
Make the white sauce while the macaroni etc is cooking
Put 25g butter into a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until melted.
Stir in 1 heaped tbsp flour using a whisk. Microwave for 20 seconds.
Stir the roux (butter & flour mixture) again with the whisk.
Slowly add 1 cup milk, stirring constantly with the whisk to mix it all evenly.
Microwave on high for 2 minutes then remove and stir to help it thicken. Cook for another minute and stir again.
Put it all together
Tip the macaroni/cauliflower back into its large pan.
Stir 1 cup grated cheese, frozen peas and ½ can creamed sweetcorn into the white sauce.
Cut the fried bacon into small pieces and add it to the macaroni.
Peel and chop the hardboiled eggs and add them as well.
Pour all the cheesy sauce into the pasta mixture and stir together till combined. Then tip the whole thing into a large baking dish.
Mince the bread into crumbs in a food processor or open a packet of crumbs.
Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the macaroni cheese mixture in the baking tin, then sprinkle grated cheese on top.
Bake in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes.
Alternatively, if you’ve been quick and the mixture is still hot, simply pop it under a grill until the cheese is melted and crusty on top. (Take care that it doesn’t burn.)
Tips and Tricks
A simple hand whisk is your best friend when it comes to making a white sauce (also called a roux). It works like magic to keep the sauce smooth.
You can make this gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta and flour.
I sometimes add chopped fresh tomatoes too. Yum!
I find it easier to make a white sauce in the microwave, but you can do it on a stovetop too. Here’s how:
Melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for a few seconds. Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring all the time.
Bring the milk to the boil, stirring it often while it thickens.
When it’s thick enough, remove from the heat and stir in cheese and corn.
Pumpkin Soup is an easy, hearty dish to cook in the cold months of winter.One thing I love to do is cook my soup and stews on our wood-burner stove. With the fire turned down low, it heats the house and at the same time, our dinner simmers for hours. The flavours merge and mingle and the soup or stew is tender and delicious.