Tag Archives: macaroni

Macaroni cheese with a twist

11 Oct

Macaroni cheese with a twist

It’s cold dark and rainy outside and summer is a long distant memory.  However, there is a plus side to this.  Wintery food: rich sauces, unctuous cheeses, sweet parsnips, roast potatoes, all the best bits!

So after a miserable journey home through endless puddles and delayed trains, I was ready for some cheesy goodness.

As much as I love macaroni cheese, I always find that an entire plate of nothing but pasta and cheesy sauce gets a bit monotonous.  So I decided to mix it up.  Not just by adding the mushrooms and a few slices of tomato, but by adding some heat to the mushrooms to cut through the cheese and enliven the taste buds.  This comes in the form of smoked paprika (my ingredient numero uno) and cayenne pepper.

And should you be short of time, or the inclination to make a cheese sauce, there is a simple solution.  Philadelphia. Or any other such soft cheese you may find on your supermarket shelves.  Just mix this into the pasta with a little splash of the pasta cooking water and bingo!  Instant gluten free cheese sauce.

The ingredients:

500g Pasta – macaroni/penne/etc – I used Sainsbury’s freefrom corn penne pasta

150g mushrooms, sliced

4 medium tomatoes, sliced

¼ tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

150g cheddar – the stronger the better if you ask me.  You will need ½ for the sauce and ½ for the topping

And for the sauce:

50g butter

50g plain flour – I used Doves farm gluten free plain white flour

½ pint milk

 

The recipe:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and drain
  2. Heat a frying pan and 1 tbsp rapeseed oil and when hot, add the sliced mushrooms.   Make sure the oil is hot so the mushrooms go golden brown rather than soggy and watery.
  3. When the mushrooms are cooked (about 4-5 mins), add the cayenne pepper and smoked paprika, making sure that all mushrooms are evenly coated and cook for another minute.
  4. Melt the butter in a pan, then add the flour and stir until it forms a paste and cook out for 1-2 mins
  5. Add the milk bit by bit, stirring/whisking vigorously to make sure you don’t get any lumps
  6. Once you have added all the milk, add ½ the cheese and stir in until you have a smooth sauce
  7. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and stir to coat.
  8. Put ½ the pasta in a shallow oven proof dish, followed by the mushrooms in a layer on top, then the rest of the pasta on top of the mushrooms.
  9. Place the sliced tomato on the top of the pasta, and then sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the tomatoes and pasta.
  10. Put the dish in a pre heated grill for 5 mins or until golden brown.
  11. Serve
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