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Macaroni and Cheese

(Recipe adapted fromA Taste of VegetarianTMX cookbook)

I’m planning a trip to New York next month (first time and I’m ridiculously excited about everything I’m going to see, but that’s another story) and after practically memorising my food itinerary I suddenly got a massive craving for mac and cheese. I thought this would be the perfect time to test cooking pasta in the Thermomix.

Please note that I omitted some leek, celery and Italian parsley from the original recipe, and upped the quantity of onion, only because I didn’t have the veggies and parsley at home.

But I did have some frozen wholemeal bread that I wanted to get rid of, so I made a cheesy crust that’s not part of the recipe.

Ingredients

6 slices of frozen wholemeal bread (optional)

400g cheddar cheese, cubed (I had a combination of grated tasty, herbed and Monterey Jack cheese in the fridge so I used that)

Handful Italian parsley (didn’t bother)

50g olive oil

1 small brown onion

600g water

600g milk

1 bay leaf (I used dried)

400g short pasta

1/4 tsp nutmeg

salt to taste

pepper and paprika to taste

Method

  • Break bread slices into pieces, then pop in the Thermomix bowl and mill  for 10 seconds/speed 8. Set aside. If you don’t have the bread, just grate your cheese for 10 seconds/speed 8, do 150g of cheese at a time and set aside.

  • Add the oil and onion to the bowl, chop for 5 seconds/speed 6 and then saute for 3 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Add the water, milk and bay leaf, and cook for 12 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius.
  • Add the pasta and nutmeg and cook for 10 minutes/90 degrees/reverse/speed 1. Taste and add salt as necessary. (Note, I felt that my pasta ended up a lot softer than how I normally like it. I think I’m going to try 6 minutes the next time, and then check the pasta consistency at that point)

  • Pour pasta into a casserole dish/baking tin. Add 250g of cheese and stir to incorporate.

  • If you’re not popping the crust on, just sprinkle the remainder of your cheese on top. I topped the pasta with my cheesy crust mix.

  • Sprinkle some pepper and paprika on top, and bake for 25 minutes or until your top is golden brown and bubbling.

My mac and cheese definitely hit the spot in terms of comfort food, and was great reheated the following day at work too. But there’s definitely some work that needs to be done in terms of pasta cooking time. Also, I personally think you can go up to about 550g of cheese, but I’m pretty sure that’s taking it a bit far health wise!

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