For a quick and easy dinner, try this cheesy macaroni bake. You can use the white cheese sauce as a base for lasagne, macaroni cheese, soups such as leek and potato, mushroom and bacon, and seafood chowder. This brew is also great for crêpe fillings or the start of a flavourful soufflé.
- 3-4 rashers bacon, sliced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- ½ cup hot milk
- 2 cups BASIC WHITE CHEESE SAUCE
- 250g macaroni pasta, cooked until al dente and drained
- Extra grated cheese
- Handful baby spinach leaves
BASIC WHITE CHEESE SAUCE
- 60g butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1¾ cups hot milk
- ½ cup tasty cheese, grated
- Sea salt and cracked pepper
- To make the white cheese sauce, Heat the butter in a medium saucepan until melted and bubbling. Add flour and cook for 2-3 minutes until mixture is a sandy texture and golden. Gradually stir in a little hot milk at a time until you have a smooth creamy sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in cheese and season to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Saute bacon and onion for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and bacon is cooked. Stir the mustard and milk into the basic white cheese sauce, then add the cooked macaroni and bacon mixture (reserve a little for the top).
- Spoon into a baking dish, top with grated cheese and remaining bacon and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Top with spinach and serve.
About Jo Wilcox
"I have had a love of food my whole life. Lucky for me my mum allowed me to play in the kitchen from the very beginning – from sitting up on the bench watch her peeling peaches for preserving or planning dinner parties from her many Womans Weekly Cookbooks. Starting in my local beach café, I went onto professional cookery training and my big foodie OE working as a professional chef and nanny. At 21 I launched my first restaurant. The following years saw me owning a gourmet cake and dessert shop and then a pasta deli before I discovered the world of food styling. Today I work in food styling making food look beautiful and tasty in packaging and advertising shoots, as well as my most important role yet – Food Editor of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. I aim to provide great meal solutions that are interesting and approachable, and of course gorgeous foodie photos that make you want to cook them! I love the feedback and the knowledge that people actually cook them and have great results. If I can give someone a love of cooking and enjoying family meal times and gatherings then my job is done!" See www.jowilcox.co.nzmore of this author