“I hate mac and cheese”, said no one…EVER! Well no one has ever dared say it in front of This Little Pig at least (thank goodness or they'd get a swift trotter to the back of the head). Admittedly macaroni cheese has certainly taken a backseat in today’s gourmet world, relegated to the shelf with the brown flairs, the cheese fondues and pigs in a blanket (fun name) kind of era. Well fear not piglets, This Little Pig has a love of cheese, pasta and bacon and when you combine all three of these loves, well… that’s when magic happens. Oooink!
Glorious Macaroni Cheese
Feeds 4 Hungry Piglets.
Prep Time: 10 Mins. Cooking Time: 45 Mins.
60g x Butter
½ x Cup Plain Flour
8 x Garlic Cloves (that’s right we said 8)
1 x Brown Onion
400g x Pasta (This Little Pig used elbow pasta due to it’s fun name)
1L x Milk
1Tbs x Gourmet Powdered Stock
400g x Free Range Bacon
200g x Cherry Tomatoes
1 x Basil Bunch
1 x Parsley Bunch
1Tbs x Olive oil
1 x Cup Grated Parmesan (+ ¼ cup for topping)
30g x White Costello – hint: eat the rest with crackers whilst cooking.
1 x Pinch (yes that’s a measurement) of nutmeg
1 x Tin of Drained Sweet Corn
1 x Cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
How to maka da pasta!
- Pop on a large pot of boiling water and add your gourmet stock
- Once boiling, pour in your pasta and cook for around 8 mins or until just cooked (it will cook further in the baking process).
- Once pasta is ready drain and pour into your large casserole dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and a scrunch of salt and pepper and toss.
- Peel and finely dice garlic and onion, set aside 2 of the diced up cloves of garlic for the béchamel (white) sauce.
- Finely chop your basil and parsley.
- Finely dice your bacon.
- Heat up a medium fry pan with your olive oil and once hot, add in your garlic and onion (keeping aside 2 of the diced up cloves), cooking until they are juuuust starting to go translucent.
- Once cooked, pour onion and garlic into your pasta dish, then pop the empty frypan back onto the heat and drop in your diced bacon. Cook until golden and quite crunchy, then pour the bacon into your pasta dish along with your cherry tomatoes, corn and diced up herbs. Mix through.
For the béchamel sauce:
- In a medium pot melt your butter and once it is melted and bubbling, add in the last of your garlic and stir until the garlic turns golden.
- Carefully pour in your flour and mix quickly until it forms a thick paste, (now this is the tricky part), verrrry slowly add in a small splash of milk, mixing furiously (ideally with a rubber whisk) to make sure that no lumps are formed.
- Continue to add your milk slowly – you want your white sauce thick but still able to run off your spoon when you pull it out of the pot. You may need to turn the heat down a little to ensure it doesn’t burn.
- Continue to add milk until it is all used, then add in your cup of grated parmesan & crumble in your white Costello, top with a good scrunch of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Stir until the cheese has melted and thickened.
- Once your white sauce is done, pour over the pasta and mix well - you want the sauce to get in all the pastas nooks and crannies.
- Top the pasta dish with your cup of panko breadcrumbs and the last of your grated parmesan and a scrunch of salt and pepper.
- Pop in the oven for 20-30 mins (we don’t want this baby drying out so do keep an eye on him).
- After 30 mins pull out and poke the top, if the breadcrumbs are crunchy and the cheese is melted, it’s mac n cheese time baby!