RECIPE: GOURMET MACARONI CHEESE
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 Minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Diet: Vegetarian
- Serving Size: Serves 4
A plucky little crumble of all things deli – sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers, and basil – scattered on top before serving makes this a heavenly version of macaroni cheese.
150–200 grams macaroni or penne pasta
1½ cups cream or mascarpone
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped black olives
¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes or capsicums
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves
1 tablespoon capers
¼ cup pesto
Serve with crisp leafy salad and/or a plate of sliced juicy tomatoes dressed with salt, pepper and a little olive oil.
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease a 6-cup capacity ovenproof lasagne-style dish.
2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes until al-dente. (The pasta will not soften further once it is mixed with the eggs and cream, so ensure it is tender at this stage). Drain and scatter into the prepared dish.
3. In large a bowl, beat together the eggs, cream or mascarpone and cheese and season well with salt and pepper. Scatter the pasta into the prepared dish and pour over the cream filling.
4. Place in a water bath (bain marie) and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes until almost set.
5. Toss together the olives, sundried tomatoes or capsicums, basil or parsley and capers. Sprinkle over the top before serving. Dollop the pesto around and serve hot with a crisp leafy salad and/or a plate of sliced juicy tomatoes dressed with salt, pepper and a little olive oil.
– To create a water bath or bain marie, place the macaroni cheese dish into a much larger roasting dish. Fill the area between the two dishes with sufficient water to come halfway up the sides of the macaroni cheese dish.
-Cooking egg-based dishes in a water bath ensures that they cook gently, without boiling, which ensure the finished dish is not tough or overcooked.