Mac & Cheese

Truly a well-loved classic in many South African homes, which, if made using the correct proportions of sauce to pasta, provides a delicious “comfort-food” meal with wide-age appeal.

Ingredients

  • 250 g Macaroni
  • 50 g (50 ml) Butter
  • 50 g (100 ml) Cake Flour
  • 500 ml Milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 230 g (625 ml) Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 250g Back Bacon, Cubed
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Small Green Pepper, Seeded and Chopped
  • 38 g  (+-180 ml) Fresh Breadcrumbs
  • 2 medium Tomatoes, Sliced into rounds

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 ° C.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add in the macaroni and bring back to the boil. Cook steadily and well covered with the water, for 8 minutes until just tender/al dente.
  3. Fry bacon, onion and green pepper until onion is transparent.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare a basic white sauce by melting the margarine in a separate pot, and stirring in the flour to a smooth paste. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Gradually pour in the warmed milk, using a hand-whisk to stir continuously, until the sauce thickens to a velvety smooth consistency. Remove from the stove as soon as it comes to the boil, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Tip the macaroni and its cooking water into a colander over the sink. Shake to remove all excess water.
  7. Add the drained pasta into the pot of sauce along with the bacon, onion and green pepper mix and approximately 500 ml of the measured grated cheese. Stir together well. Transfer to a lightly greased oven-dish.
  8. Arrange the tomato slices over the top, and sprinkle over a mixture of breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese.
  9. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until the topping is crisp and golden. Allow the dish 10 minutes standing time, for it to settle and firm up for easier serving.

If you are interested, here is a bit of history about the origins of this favorite dish: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/marvelous-macaroni-and-cheese-30954740/

https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/who-invented-macaroni-and-cheese.htm

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