Saturday, February 25, 2012

Macaroni Cheese Pasta Bake

Disclaimer: despite the presence of a small quantity of green atop this dish... it is by no stretch of any imagination a health food... this, right here, is pure, glutinous comfort food.

...because three green leaves totally makes this healthy...
 But sometimes, in the life of a student (and I'm sure in the life of a Real Person as well), the need to feel comforted out-importants the need to feel virtuous. In these times, more often than not, what is called for is cheese. Cheese and carbohydrates. And, if a little bacon can be thrown in? So much the better.

Other times what you really need is chocolate. But... I don't know that chocolate would work here...?

This is my favourite baked macaroni cheese recipe because it's super cheesy and - if you bake it in a large dish there's plenty of surface area for the delicious melty cheese on top. Yum!

The method is fairly simple - but it does require a fair few pots and pans...but hey! This is all in the name of warm fuzzies.

If you really want to add more than the merest hint of good-for-you-ness offered by the three green leaves - make it with wholemeal pasta...

Mmm! I feel better just looking at it!

You'll need:

1 1/2 cups pasta - cooked according to the directions on the packet and drained (keeping the large pot!)

1 tsp of grainy mustard (or whatever mustard you happen to have lingering in you fridge)
2 cups of milk
3 Tbsp cornflour
salt and pepper to taste

4 rashers of bacon, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced

2 cups grated cheese in any flavour of your choosing

Preheat your grill/broiler to high. And lightly grease a large, oven proof dish.

Fry the bacon, onion and tomatoes until cooked/translucent.

In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, milk, cornflour, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over the cooked pasta in a large pot. Add in the bacon and onions. Stir, over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Stir in most of the cheese.

Pour into the prepared dish and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Place under grill until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Please serve with a green salad... or at least some broccoli?

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