Food Friday: Gratin de macaronis au fromage (Mac ‘n’ Cheese)

This past week, I dug out my recipe cards after cleaning out some of my drawers. As I don’t live in my own place yet, I don’t have a proper place to put my cards. I have a bunch of blank ones and became inspired to fill them out. To do that, I dug out my copy of The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (you can find more creations on her website) and see what recipes I wanted to add to my cards.

The first recipe that struck my interest was her Gratin de macaronis au fromage aka Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Mac ‘n’ Cheese is one of my favourite meals of all time; between the cheese and the noodles, I can feel the drool falling down my chin.

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My adorable recipe card. I picked up the recipe cards from Anthropologie.

Here is the recipe for this yummy meal:

Gratin de macaronis au fromage
Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes     Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients
For the béchamel sauce
2 Tbsp butter • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour • 2 cups milk, lukewarm • 1/2 onion, skin removed • 1 clove • 1 bay leaf • a pinch of nutmeg • salt and white pepper

Additional ingredients
10oz (2 1/2-3 cups) macaroni • 7oz Gruyère, mature Comté or Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions
For the béchamel sauce: Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the flour and beat hard until you have a smooth paste. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 2 minutes, then gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Place the pan back over a medium heat, add the onion, clove, and bay leaf, and simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking frequently. If the sauce becomes too thick, whisk in a little more milk.

Finish the sauce by removing the onion, clove, and bay leaf, then adding the nutmeg and seasoning with salt and white pepper (although black pepper is fine if you don’t mind the speckles). Leave to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Drain the pasta and tip into a large baking dish.

Save a handful of cheese to sprinkle on the top at the end, then mix the rest into the warm sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix until the pasta is well coated. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly and golden. Serve immediately.

Bon appetit! 

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