Mac and cheese is one of my favourite recipes to take camping, cooking the mac and cheese over the fire infuses it with a nice smokey taste. The taste of campfire in the mac and cheese is just too good to resist. The taste can be replicated over the BBQ but sometimes mac and cheese baked in the oven is just as good.
This recipe can be a bit overwhelming because it has a homemade cheese sauce, but it is very easy once you get started, and it tastes so good.
Ingredients (serving size: 4)
Cheese Sauce: 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp of onion powder, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of pepper, 1 tbsp of rosemary, 1 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of chili flakes, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, 1 cup of milk
2-3 cups of pasta of your choice (I like to use mini shells), 1/2 Spanish onion diced, 1 clove of garlic minced
Topping: 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs (Italian spiced)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees celsius
- Cook the pasta of your choice according to the directions, ensure the pasta is cooked al dente because the pasta will be baked in the oven
- In a large saucepan melt butter, add all the spices, wait until the butter is boiling slightly (do not let it smoke), turn the heat down to low, while mixing slowly add the flour 1 tbsp at a time, the mixture will become very thick and hard to mix, once the flour is added the mixture it should resemble a crumbly playdough
- While the heat is still on low, slowly add the milk 1/4 of a cup at a time whisking vigorously, about 1 cup of milk should make the mixture the perfect consistency (slightly thinner than pudding), you can make your sauce thinner by adding more milk *the mixture will thicken once the cheese is added
- Once you have reached the desired consistency of your sauce turn the heat off and stir in the cheeses one of a time
- Add the cooked the pasta into a large bowl with a small amount of butter, mix around so the pasta does not stick together, add the diced onion and the minced garlic
- Add the cheese sauce to the pasta mixture, mix well
- Add the pasta mixture into a glass tray (9 x 13), top with the cheeses and the bread crumbs, I like to mix it up, half cheese, half bread crumbs, half cheese, half bread crumbs
- Bake covered with tin foil for 30 minutes and bake uncovered for 15 minutes
- Once finished baking let sit for 10 minutes before enjoying