- 30 g plain flour
- 30 g butter
- 4 garlic cloves
- 400 ml hot full-fat milk
- 6g of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 200-250 g macaroni
- 1 slice stale bread
- ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves, or ¼ tsp fried rosemary (optional)
- 225 g Stilton cheese, grated
- 200 g Gruyere or Cheddar cheese, grated
- 30g of Parmesan
- Pinch of Cayenne pepper or 20g of Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly-milled black pepper
- 15 basil leaves
- Start by cooking some pasta of your choice in a pan of boiling water. Once cooked, strain the pasta and set aside
- Place 50 mL milk into a pan over a low-medium heat and add the thyme and bay. Bring up to a warm heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place a separate pan over a low heat and add the 4 tbsp. butter and 4 cloves of garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the flour. Heat for for 2-3 minutes and stir constantly so the mixture comes together. –> Béchamel sauce
- Strain the milk, thyme and bay mixture so that you are just left with the infused milk. Gradually (over 5 minutes) add the infused milk to the other pan and stir with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer
- Take the pan off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the cheese, mustard, basil and pasta to the pan and then pour the contents of the pan into a casserole dish. Cover with some extra cheese and place in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes (I prefer stovetop because I haven’t a baking dish currently).
- Remove the dish from the oven, divide the macaroni cheese into 4 portions and serve immediately.
My grandmother gave me a box of instant mac and cheese from her senior citizen community center (before the pandemic lockdown). Of course I didn’t want to eat that stuff straight, so I thought I would try to dress it up with some caramelized onions, garlic, herbs, and whatever else I might find in the pantry.