I had mentioned in one of my previous posts that I had not indulged in much cheese of late, after having loudly stated that, I think I have subconsciously been making dishes that have vast amounts of cheese in them. August has truly been a cheesy month and its not over yet.
I made a very large portion of this Mediterranean Mac and Cheese. I was able to find some Mediterranean cheese at a local supermarket. Its was studded with peppers, black olives and oregano, so I added that to this Mac'n'Cheese, but if you can't find it that okay, just use plain cheddar cheese.
Some of this Mediterranean Mac and Cheese was for us, the rest for me to take over to my nephews and nieces to enjoy. They do like Mac and Cheese, but I am not sure what they will make of this Mediterranean version.
I am sending this recipe to Catherine of Cate's Cate's who is hosting this month Pasta Please#8. This month the theme is Pasta Bakes. Pasta Please is co-ordinated these days by Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes.
Mediterranean Macaroni Cheese Bake
Serves 4 - 6
1 medium onion - peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
75g plain flour
200g-225g (Mediterranean) cheddar cheese, grated plus extra for topping
salt and ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 red pepper, cored and sliced into tiny pieces
Optional: 2 tablespoons black olives, roughly chopped
Optional: garnish with fresh basil
250g macaroni pasta
Melt butter in a saucepan, add the chopped onions and garlic, cook gently until soft.
Stir in the flour and cook for a minute, then gradually add the milk, whisking all the time and then whisk in about three-quarters of the cheese and allow to melt into the sauce. Sir in the herbs, pepper and optional black olives. Season to taste and combine well.
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente. Drain, then stir into cheese sauce and gently transfer into an ovenproof dish.
Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake in oven Gas mark 6 for 20 - 30 minutes until golden. This dish can be made in advance and reheated.
For other variations of Macaroni Cheese, please see links below.
Wild Garlic Mac and Cheese
Romesco Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Macaroni Bake with Broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes and capers
Macaroni Cheese Pies