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Baked Macaroni Cheese with Bacon, Onion & Tomato
Baked Macaroni Cheese with bacon, onion and juicy tomato slices for a simple yet delicious meal that's filling and rich in protein and calcium.
A favorite of kids and adults alike, Baked Macaroni Cheese is quick and easy to prepare, providing a filling meal that's rich in protein and calcium.
The basic recipe can be varied with the addition of cooked vegetables, like peas, corn and carrots, or by adding bacon, onion and juicy tomato slices, as this one does, for a more flavorsome dish.
- 200g (8 oz) short-cut macaroni, either classic or cavatappi (corkscrews), cooked and drained
- 6 thin rashers streaky bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
- 450ml (3/4 pint) cheese sauce
- 50g (2 oz) medium hard cheese, like cheddar or emmentaler, grated
- 1 medium tomato, sliced
Ingredients for the Cheese Sauce
- 20g (3/4 oz) butter
- 20g (3/4 oz) flour
- 450ml (3/4 pint) milk
- 1 generous teaspoon made mustard
- 1 level teaspoon salt (reduce or omit if using a salty tasting cheese)
- A little pepper
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- 200g (8 oz) medium hard cheese, like cheddar or emmentaler, grated
Instructions for the Cheese Sauce
1. Melt butter over a medium heat.
2. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the flour to make a roux.
3. Return to the heat and cook for a couple of minutes while constantly moving the mixture about in the pan. Don't allow it to turn brown, but cook for long enough so the sauce won't taste of flour.
4. Remove from the heat and add the milk, stirring all the time.
5. Return to the heat and keep stirring until the sauce thickens. If it seems too thin, remember that the addition of cheese will thicken it further. Making the sauce too thick will cause the macaroni cheese to turn out stodgy.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg and cheese.
7. Return to the heat and keep stirring until the sauce is smooth again.
Instructions for Baked Macaroni Cheese with Bacon, Onion and Tomato
1. Cook the macaroni in salted water for six or seven minutes, drain and put aside. It should be just al dente (firm to the bite), since it will continue to cook later in the oven.
2. Fry the bacon for one or two minutes until it's cooked but not crisp, then remove from the skillet and put aside.
3. Fry the sliced onion in the bacon fat until it begins to brown.
4. Stir the bacon, onion and cheese sauce into the macaroni.
5. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish.
6. Top with cheese and tomato.
7. Place in a moderately hot oven, 190 C (375 F, gas mark 5), for 30 minutes. Give it an extra five or ten minutes under the grill if the top still isn't crisp and brown enough.
8. Serve with salad.
All images by Camlo De Ville