Mac n’ boc n’ cheese
I enjoy a Macaroni Cheese occasionally, but only if it is made from scratch. I have only tried the ‘box kind’ once, and never again. That stuff is poison wrapped in cardboard. I don’t know exactly how they get it to turn that colour, but I am pretty sure the human body should not really ingest something that colour. No judgement if you like it (she says, after just calling it poison). My husband adores two-minute noodles (even the smell of those make me want to hurl), and I love Magnum Ice Creams (300 delicious chocolate covered calories apiece). We all have a thing we should be able to eat without the snobby stares of family or the snippy comments of know-it-ally food bloggers with about ten readers, at least one of whom is her Mum.
Real Mac ‘n Cheese is actually not hard to make, although it is not the most healthy of dishes, which is why I tend to make it for my kids as a special treat: a simple white sauce, some cheese, some pasta and more cheddar cheese, and that is it, really. I tart mine up with some additions: this version has sliced tomatoes and bocconcini cheese (mini mozzarella cherries), but you could also add steamed broccoli or cauliflower, some tuna, some peas and corn, or some chopped artichokes and olives. If the tuna is added I have to admit that I will eat something else: I have an aversion to heated tuna that I cannot escape, but I know that other people, including my eldest daughter, love it. This is particular to me: a colleague recently told me that she will eat tuna hot but not cold, while I am just the opposite. Luckily we are all different, or the world would be a damned boring place.
300 grams pasta shapes – 60 cents
4 tablespoons butter – 44 cents
3 tablespoons plain flour – 4 cents
2 cups milk – 50 cents
3/4 cups grated tasty cheese – 90 cents
1/4 teaspoon salt – 1 cent
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or a good scraping of whole nutmeg – 2.5 cents
2 tomatoes, sliced – 50 cents
1/2 tub fresh bocconcini balls (mini mozzarella balls – $1.92) OR 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese – 60 cents
Cook the pasta in boiling water, drain and set aside. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the plain flour, and whisk, cooking the flour and butter together until it is bubbling.
Slowly add the milk, a little at a time, to prevent lumps forming.
Cook over a low heat until the sauce thickens.
Add the nutmeg, salt, and 3/4 cup grated cheese.
Mix the cooked pasta and sauce together. Place in a greased baking dish.
Layer the sliced tomatoes on top of the pasta and sauce. Cut the bocconcini balls in half, and arrange on top of the pasta, or sprinkle with the 1/2 cup grated cheese.Bake at 180 degrees until the cheese has melted and is bubbly and golden.
Total Cost: $3.61 ($5.53 if using bocconcini)
Per person: 60 cents (92 cents if using bocconcini)