I recently stumbled upon a page on instagram that was solely dedicated to mac and cheese. I was amazed by the different variations of mac and cheese posted on the page and it inspired me to create my own version of this popular dish.
This is probably my absolute favourite comfort food. There’s something about cheese and pasta that makes my heart melt. I decided to dress up the traditional mac and cheese and add a bit of spice to it. I combined a spicy tomato based sauce with the traditional creamy béchamel sauce . I then used 2 cheeses in between the layers , to give the mac and cheese an extra gooey centre. What can I say, this is a hearty wholesome dish that will leave your entire family satisfied.
- 1 tbsp. crushed garlic
- 1 tsp crushed green chilli
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp. oregano
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 litre Pomi crushed and strained tomato sauce
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Salt A/R
- 1 kg chicken fillet, cubed
- 400 g macaroni
- 2 cups gouda cheese , grated
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese , grated
- 2 cups béchamel sauce
- Olive oil
- boil your pasta with olive oil and salt
- once el dente, drain and set aside
- in an empty pot, warm up 4 tablespoons of olive oil, on a medium heat
- then add the garlic and sauté for a about a minute, be careful not to burn the garlic
- thereafter add the green chilli, tomato paste,chilli powder, oregano , salt and pepper
- let the mixture thicken slightly, thereafter add the chicken cubes
- let the chicken cook until completely done
- once your chicken is fully cooked , add your Pomi tomatoes, close the pot and let the mixture boil for about 10 mins
- once the sauce has thickened, add in your pre boiled pasta and mix well in the sauce
- all the pasta should be coated in the tomato sauce, however it shouldn’t be exceptionally saucy
- Prepare your béchamel / white sauce.
- in an oven proof dish begin to layer your mac and cheese
- Start with macaroni mix at the bottom, then a layer of béchamel sauce, top with 2 cheeses and repeat.
- I usually only do 2 layers of each.
- End with cheese on the top, place in the oven on bake on 180ᵒC
- Remove once the cheese has a golden brown coating.
feel free to add as much cheese as you want. the more cheese the better! i’ve also added the recipe for the sauce bases to the Basics section of the blog, so it’s available for you to use in any pasta dish.
I’ve received an email with regards to the Pomi tomato sauce, Feel free to use any sauce you like. However i’m uncertain as to whether or not the flavours will be balanced ,as all canned or boxed sauces are different. I love Pomi because its well flavoured and is a great quality of cooking sauce.
To ensure that the heat will be distributed equally throughout the dish, I suggest that you cover the oven proof dish with foil. Then bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, thereafter remove the foil and let the cheese brown slightly.This works well if you would like to prepare the meal in advance and warm it up at a later stage. if you’re preparing it fresh, your sauce should be hot and there’s no need to cover and bake.
have fun with this one!