Recipes

Siba’s Magnificent Mac & Cheese

  • 20min
  • 35min
  • 4+

Ingredients

  • 175 g dry macaroni

  • Enough water to cover the macaroni when boiling it

  • Salt

  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) olive oil

Topping (optional)

  • 250 g (½ cup) bacon rashers, diced 

  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) olive oil 

  • 250 g (1 cup) red cherry tomatoes, halved  

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 

Sauce

  • 30 g (2 tablespoons) butter 

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

  • 2 ml smoked paprika 

  • 1 ml pinch cayenne pepper 

  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour 

  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) cornflour 

  • 500 ml (1 cup) full-cream milk, warm

  • 7 ml Dijon mustard 

  • 75 g (5 tablespoons) mozzarella cheese, grated

  • 75 g (5 tablespoons) mature Cheddar cheese, grated 

  • 40 g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

  • 80 g creamy Gorgonzola cheese, cubed 

  • 2 ml salt

Final topping

  • 40 g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Method

  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 180° C. Lightly grease a baking tray with oil. In a separate pot, boil the pasta in salted water, until al dente. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Add the olive oil to prevent the pasta form sticking together. Set aside.

  2. 2

    To make the topping: Place the bacon bits on one side of the baking tray. Roast for 10 minutes until the fat has rendered and the bacon bits are well cooked and crispy-ish. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes with the garlic. Transfer the garlic tomatoes to the same baking tray housing the cooked bacon. Ensure that the cut side of the tomatoes face upwards.

  3. 3

    Bake for a further 20 minutes until the tomatoes are partially dehydrated and the bacon bits are crispy.

  4. 4

    To make the cheese sauce: Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium-sized, heavy-based skillet. Add the garlic and spice to the hot skillet. Sauté for a minute until fragrant, but not browned.

  5. 5

    Whisk in both flours and continue to cook, whisking continuously for at least 2 minutes to make a roux. Reduce to a low heat, gradually whisking in the milk. Make sure that the roux is well-whisked so there are no milk-and-flour lumps, masses or chunks.

  6. 6

    Bring the mix to a boil, then simmer. Continue to whisk for about 5 minutes to allow the roux to thicken, and the flour to cook out.

  7. 7

    Remove from the heat and add the mustard, grated mozzarella, Cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Stir continuously until all the cheeses are melted. Return the mixture to the heat and stir for two more minutes. Now remove from heat. Season well with salt. It is important not to under-season the sauce as this can prove fatal to your masterpiece.

  8. 8

    To make and assemble the Mac & Cheese: Add the pasta to the sauce and stir in until the pasta is completely coated with the creamy, dreamy roux mixture. Fold in the crumbled Gorgonzola.

  9. 9

    Transfer to a greased baking dish. Mix the tomatoes and bacon topping together, and arrange as the top layer of your macaroni masterpiece. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Enjoy every decadent mouthful!