I made mac and cheese last week.
It’s not something I make very often at home, but Gary had been away for the week and I thought I’d treat him to his favourite dinner as a welcome home gift.
I tweaked my usual sauce recipe, added some vegetables (two types of green make this basically a salad right?) et voilà. It went down a STORM. I think his exact words were “you’ve outdone yourself”, which is always nice to hear!
Then I snapped a quick pic, popped it on my Instagram and you guys went crazy for it too. It’s my most requested recipe of all time, so here you have it: my recipe for mac and cheese with garlic, courgette and peas.
Up until a couple of years ago, I was always a bit intimidated by mac and cheese recipes. They look kinda tricky written down, but they honestly couldn’t be simpler!
The sauce is just a basic roux, made by mixing flour into melted butter, then whisking in milk very slowly until it forms a thick and creamy sauce.
I’ve given my roux a twist by adding a heavy dose of garlic and a kick of English mustard. Four cloves for a 4-portion pot is quite a lot, but we’re big garlic fans in this house! Feel free to tone it down if it’s really not your thing, but I think it gives a great depth of flavour.
Pasta-wise, you really want something with a bit of a curl to it, so the sauce has something to cling to. I used spiralli, but conchiglie (shells), fusilli and of course macaroni would also work.
And as for cheese, I use a half and half mix: extra mature cheddar for flavour, and gouda for creaminess. Gruyere is also a good one for mac and cheese as it melts really well, and I have a suspicion that manchego would also be delicious!
Yay Gary’s home! ☺️ He’s been working away all week, so I’ve made a giant pot of his favourite dish for dinner: mac and cheese, with mustard and garlic in the sauce, two types of cheese (gouda and extra mature cheddar), and green peas and courgette for vitamin reasons. 🙆🏼♀️🌿
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A deliciously easy mac and cheese with garlic and mustard in the sauce, two types of cheese, and green peas and courgette for vitamins and color.
Put a saucepan of salted water on to boil. Chop the ends off the courgettes, then slice them into rounds, and cut the rounds in half.
Once the water's bubbling, throw in the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions. Add the courgettes and peas for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and vegetables together, and put to one side.
Gently melt the butter on a medium heat, in a big casserole or saucepan. Once it's liquid but not bubbling, add the crushed garlic.
Fry the garlic gently for 4-5 minutes, then add the flour and stir vigorously. It will turn into a golden sort of paste.
Let the paste cook on a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes (this gets rid of the floury taste) then add the milk a little bit at a time, and use a whisk to stir the flour into the liquid.
Simmer the sauce for 8-10 minutes, whisking until the flour's dissolved, and the sauce is smooth and thick.
Stir in the mustard, and season to taste. Whisk in the cheese until it's all melted, and the sauce is smooth again. Check the taste at this point, and adjust the seasoning if you need to.
Stir in the cooked pasta, courgette and vegetables, and simmer until everything is coated in the sauce and the pasta is heated through.
Serve hot, with a bit of cracked black pepper on top!
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