I love Mac N Cheese. But not the fakey ones. They’re far too chemically tasting and pretty much smell like vom. You want homemade when it comes to something so cheesy! The tastiest one I ever had was served to me at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta. On their worldwide menu is Twisted Mac N Cheese and it is soooo good. I’ve been trying to copy it for a while; searching recipes and testing them out. The original is quite spicy so I wanted to calm that down a bit so the Smush could partake too. I eventually came across this recipe and tweaked it a few times and am finally happy with what I’ve got. It’s a perfect cold night’s meal and I hope it warms your belly this Winter!
(Original Recipe from Taste. The following version is quite different. If you’re after a more basic, less ‘grown up’ Mac N Cheese, they have plenty to choose from.)
375g of elbow pasta
5-6 pieces of Prosciutto
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup spring onion
1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (or a cheese of your choice.)
1/2 cup Mersey Valley Cheese or a vintage type cheddar.
Dash of Paprika
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced or chopped if you wish to stir them through.
1 1/2 cups coarse, fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
(I also sometimes throw in sun-dried tomatoes for an extra kick!)
Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, following packet directions until tender. Drain. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.
Preheat oven to 180C. Tear up prosciutto and add to the pasta. (If you want it crispy you could fry it off with the garlic.) Pop garlic and onion in a pan, stirring for 2 minutes until soft. Add to pasta.
Melt butter in same pan over medium heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring for 1 minute or until mixture is bubbling. Gradually stir in milk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, all the Mersey Valley cheese and parsley. Add to pasta and prosciutto mixture. Toss to combine. Season with paprika, salt and pepper.
Spoon mixture into a 12 cup-capacity ovenproof dish. Top with tomato or stir tomato through. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. Drizzle with oil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is golden. Stand 2 minutes.