Whilst it is often thought that mac & cheese, a sometimes scorned American staple, is a dish that was created entirely in the United States, we have ample reason to believe that it might actually have its origins in Italy. Evidence of recipes including both macaroni and cheese, which date back to the late thirteenth century, have been found in southern Italian archives, adding a degree of intrigue to the dish. Some even claim that the classic American mac & cheese was brought back to Virginia by Thomas Jefferson following a jaunt in Italia. Jefferson’s daughter, Mary Radolph, is credited with the adaptation of an early form of this cheesy concoction into the dish we recognise today.
Whatever the truth behind macaroni cheese and its origins, what we can’t deny is its popularity in modern cuisine. This indulgent dish can be prepared quickly and with minimal faff and is certainly very delicious, so why not try out our recipe today?
Make our Tasty Mac & Cheese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- 350g macaroni (or any short pasta)
- 2tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1tsp mustard powder
- 3tbsp plain flour
- 500ml milk
- 250g cheddar cheese, grated
- 50g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the topping:
- 2-3 pieces of bread, buttered
- Generous knob of butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) and place your buttered slices of bread on a baking tray. Bake for five minutes, or until crispy, then remove from the oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.
- Cook your macaroni in a large pan of boiling water. Remove from the heat and drain two minutes ahead of the cooking time advised on the packet.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and mustard powder, allow the garlic to sauté for a minute, but be careful not to burn it. Then add the plain flour and stir everything together, cooking for a further minute.
- Gradually pour in the milk and whisk the contents of the pan thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Add a small pinch of salt and a little black pepper at this stage.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and add the cheddar and Parmigiano Reggiano, stir through until thoroughly combined.
- Add your macaroni to the sauce, making sure every piece of pasta is completely coated in the cheesy mixture.
- Pour your mac & cheese mix into an oven dish or deep roasting tin.
- Crumble the crispy bread slices into breadcrumbs, mixing with a little salt and pepper to season, and sprinkle on top of your mac & cheese. Top with some extra grated parmesan and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
- Serve immediately, buon appetito!
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