Macaroni Cheese

Truly a well-loved classic in many South African homes, which, if made using the correct proportions of sauce to pasta, provides a delicious “comfort-food” meal with wide-age appeal.

Difficulty

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cooking Time

15 minutes

Serves

5

Ingredients

  • 250 g SPAR Italian Style Macaroni
  • 50 g SPAR Bread Spread 50% fat margarine (50 ml)
  • 50 g SPAR cake flour (100 ml)
  • 500 ml SPAR milk, warmed
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 230 g SPAR grated cheddar cheese (625 ml)
  • 38 g  fresh breadcrumbs (+-180 ml),  or less if using dry toasted breadcrumbs
  • 2 medium SPAR Freshline tomatoes, sliced into rounds

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 ° C.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add in the macaroni and bring back to the boil. Cook steadily and well covered with the water, for 8 minutes until just tender/al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a basic white sauce by melting the margarine in a separate pot, and stirring in the flour to a smooth paste. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Gradually pour in the warmed milk, using a hand-whisk to stir continuously, until the sauce thickens to a velvety smooth consistency. Remove from the stove as soon as it comes to the boil, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Tip the macaroni and its cooking water into a colander over the sink. Shake to remove all excess water.
  6. Add the drained pasta into the pot of sauce along with approximately 500 ml of the measured grated cheese. Transfer to a lightly greased oven-dish.
  7. Arrange the tomato slices over the top, and sprinkle over a mixture of breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese.
  8. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until the topping is crisp and golden. Allow the dish 10 minutes standing time, for it to settle and firm up for easier serving.

Hints & Tips

  • A few handfuls of chopped ham or cooked diced bacon fried up with a finely chopped onion extends this meal by another portion and gives it a new flavour slant.
  • Why not double-up and turn the mixture into two casseroles? Take it from the freezer in the morning, and that evening, simply reheat thoroughly in a 180 °C oven.  Or divide into individual ramekin portions, cover with foil and freeze for quick toddler-meals.