Recipe: Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Photography: Ashlee DeCaires

Is there anything better than a plate of Mac n Cheese? This is my go-to dish when anyone needs a care package. I often make a huge batch, divide it into ovenproof dishes and freeze so there is always some on hand when the need arises.

While perfectly fine without, some added bacon is also nice; simply add it in when cooking the onion and leeks.

2½ cups uncooked macaroni
100g butter
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup leek, finely sliced
⅓ cup flour
2 cups milk
1½–2 cups cheese *

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add salt and then the pasta. Cook until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium-sized pot and then add the onion and leek. Cook gently for 10 minutes or until the onion and leeks are soft.

Add the flour, mixing well and continuing to cook for 2–3 minutes before adding ½ a cup of the milk, stirring continuously to avoid getting lumps. Finally, add the remaining milk and cheese and continue to cook and stir until the sauce is thick. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Click here for Back to Basics White Sauce recipe.

Drain the cooked pasta and mix with the cheese sauce. Pour this into an oven proof dish and top with the breadcrumb topping. Bake in a moderate oven until the crumbs are golden brown and macaroni is bubbling.

*I use whatever combo of odds and ends I have in the fridge.

Breadcrumb Topping

150–200g bread (I used day-old sourdough)
handful of flat leaf parsley
25g cold butter, chopped
extra cheese (Parmesan, including the rind, or Brie work well)

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until a fine breadcrumb consistency.

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