Baked macaroni & cheese recipe / Trinidadian macaroni pie
Baked macaroni and cheese or macaroni pie
Baked macaroni and cheese is a delicious, indulgent and comforting food that warms the tummy. Macaroni and cheese that is baked in the oven is oh so good. This hub is dedicated to a delectable Caribbean dish - Trinidadian macaroni pie! It may sound familiar to some and is unknown to others. Similar to the very popular American dish, macaroni and cheese or 'mac' and cheese, there are some differences.
- For example, macaroni and cheese is 'loose'.
- The macaroni sits in a cheese sauce.
- If the dish is not homemade, the cheese sauce might be made from a fine yellow powder that contains many additives and artificial ingredients.
- Trinidadian macaroni pie on the other hand is baked together.
- All the ingredients become connected and solidified.
- It needs to be sliced through like a cake or yes, a 'pie'.
- The way that the macaroni pie takes its form is by the mixing of ingredients such as egg, milk and cheese.
- When all is combined and it bakes in the oven, it becomes this 'pie' form.
I should mention though, that while baked macaroni and cheese seems to be less popular than loose macaroni and cheese in American cooking, it is available and is rising in popularity. So, in addition to the Trinidadian macaroni pie, you can indeed find baked macaroni and cheese in American cooking, especially in the southern states.
Delicious hot baked macaroni and cheese
Macaroni pie recipe
Here is the recipe for making whole wheat macaroni pie.
- As mentioned in the hub regarding whole wheat lasagna, the choice of whole wheat is really just to put a healthier spin on things.
- Whole wheat pasta is a much healthier choice than white pasta and can potentially be just as delicious, especially when mixed with all the needed ingredients for this particular macaroni pie/ baked mac & cheese recipe.
Now, what will you need to make this flavorful macaroni pie or baked macaroni and cheese dish?
The ingredients that you will need for this recipe are:
- 1 can (at least 12 ounces) of evaporated whole milk
- 16 ounces of muenster cheese (many macaroni pie recipes might call for yellow cheddar cheese but I use muenster, which is one of my favorite cheeses for its taste. It is more white than yellow in color and is typically seen with a yellow/orange skin at the deli or supermarket. That is, it is white on the inside of a square slice of the cheese and the outer edges are yellow/orange)
- The 16 oz block of muenster cheese can be cut up into small cubes OR grated, whichever you prefer or whichever is faster for you. I don't use a grater. I just cut the cheese into small cubes. As it bakes in the oven, It will all melt evenly and sufficiently either way.
A slice of macaroni pie. Meatballs added for a unique and hearty meal!
For this macaroni pie recipe, here is what you will additionally need
- A 12 ounce box of whole wheat semolina macaroni. (Notice the ratio- 12 oz of macaroni to 16 oz of cheese. This will be a Very cheesy dish)
Meatballs are an option and truly tasty addition. Furthermore, don't forget the spices!
- 1/2 cup organic tomato sauce
- 3 eggs
- optional: 1 cup frozen or homemade meatballs, already cooked or heated with no additional sauce(note for the optional meat, cooked ground beef seems to be the most popular choice in macaroni pie recipes but I tried meatballs for the first time just recently and it works very well so I suggest is as an option)
- various spices- (suggested)
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
I have seen various recipes for the macaronie pie on the internet but using the above ingredients is how I like to make it. Below follows the list of directions for preparing this variation of the macaroni pie with the above ingredients.
1. Empty the contents of the box of whole wheat pasta in a pot of salted (just a dash of salt) boiling water. After the first 3 minutes, reduce heat to low and simmer the pasta for just 3 additional minutes. (any additional cooking of the pasta will occur while it is baking in the oven.)
2. While the pasta is simmering, take the 3 eggs, crack, remove and discard shells and beat the eggs in a bowl until smooth. Add the various spices to the bowl of eggs and stir well. Set aside for a few moments.
3. By this time, you can remove the pasta from the heat and drain into a colander. After the pasta is drained, transfer it back into the empty pot. Also set aside.
4. Meanwhile, cut the muenster cheese into the small cubes and toss the small cubes of cheese directly on top of the drained pasta which will still be hot. Mix well. The cheese will begin melting into the pasta immediatley and will melt further in the oven.
5. To the pot of cheese with drained pasta, add the contents of the can of evaporated milk and mix well.
6. Add the bowl of eggs to the pasta mixture and continue stirring for a minute.
7. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F.
8. Take a large baking pan and line with foil. Then grease the foil lightly with olive oil.
9. Take a large spoon or ladle and scoop the pasta mixture into the baking pan. Spread evenly until all the past mixture has been transferred from the pot to the baking pan.
10. Take the meatballs and arrange them around as a top layer. They will sink into the pasta a bit.
11. Pour the half cup of organic pasta sauce evenly on top of all.
12. Place the baking pan in the oven for 35 minutes.
13. Done. Turn oven off and remove the whole wheat macaroni pie from oven promptly. Cool slightly, cut, serve and enjoy!