Macaroni cheese

mac and cheese

Serves 6

  • 500 g good-quality macaroni

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • olive oil

  • 1 small bunch fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked

  • 75 g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus a little extra for grating

  • 75 g fontina or Taleggio cheese, roughly torn

  • 75 g mascarpone cheese

  • ¼ nutmeg

  • 1 small ball buffalo mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Cook the macaroni in a pan of salted boiling water 2 minutes short of the timing on the packet instructions, then drain in a colander and reserve a little of the cooking water. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan, add the marjoram or oregano and fry for a minute until it starts to crisp up, then turn off the heat. Add your cooked pasta to the marjoram or oregano butter, along with a couple of spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water and the Parmesan, fontina or Taleggio and mascarpone. Return to a medium heat and toss and stir around until most of the cheese has melted and you have a lovely gooey sauce – you may need to add a little more of the reserved cooking water. Season to taste, then tip it all into an earthenware dish. Grate over the nutmeg, tear over the mozzarella and sprinkle over the extra Parmesan. Bake the macaroni cheese in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, finishing up with a quick whack under the grill, until golden brown and crispy on top.

Nutritional Information

Macaroni cheese

With an easy four-cheese sauce

0 foodies cooked this
This twist on traditional macaroni cheese is, as it should be, all about the cheese!
Serves 6
35m
Super easy
Print this recipe
Method

This is my twist on the old-school frumpy Anglicized dish of macaroni cheese. Using these four different cheeses together, each one with its own characteristics, works really well. For the classic finish, it has to be popped under the grill to crisp up and go brown on top – lovely. Once you see how quick it is, you won't be making any bechamels or claggy old sauces for a long time.

Preheat your oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Cook the macaroni in a pan of salted boiling water 2 minutes short of the timing on the packet instructions, then drain in a colander and reserve a little of the cooking water. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan, add the marjoram or oregano and fry for a minute until it starts to crisp up, then turn off the heat. Add your cooked pasta to the marjoram or oregano butter, along with a couple of spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water and the Parmesan, fontina or Taleggio and mascarpone. Return to a medium heat and toss and stir around until most of the cheese has melted and you have a lovely gooey sauce – you may need to add a little more of the reserved cooking water. Season to taste, then tip it all into an earthenware dish. Grate over the nutmeg, tear over the mozzarella and sprinkle over the extra Parmesan. Bake the macaroni cheese in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, finishing up with a quick whack under the grill, until golden brown and crispy on top.

Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 489
    24%
  • Carbs 62.1g
    24%
  • Sugar 3.6g 4%
  • Fat 17.6g 25%
  • Saturates 11.0g 55%
  • Protein 20.4g 45%
Of an adult's reference intake

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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  • 500 g good-quality macaroni

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • olive oil

  • 1 small bunch fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked

  • 75 g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus a little extra for grating

  • 75 g fontina or Taleggio cheese, roughly torn

  • 75 g mascarpone cheese

  • ¼ nutmeg

  • 1 small ball buffalo mozzarella cheese