Last night one of my favourite chefs, Lorraine Pascale, tweeted asking which people preferred – mac and cheese or lasagna. It sent my mind running back to the first meal I ever cooked my mum and her then boyfriend at my first ever flat way back in time.
The meal was cooked in an old baby belling, in my flatlet (I couldn’t even afford a whole flat so had to share the bathroom) and was made before the internet had even been invented so I don’t even remember where I got the recipe.
The plates may have been mismatched, the wine as cheap as can be and the dessert probably from Iceland but the main event went down a storm. All I remember is that I had the ingredients for bolognese & for macaroni cheese and from these ingredients my macaroni cheese lasagna was born.
for the bolognese sauce
- 500g mince
- 1 red onion
- 1 squeeze each of tomato paste and garlic puree
- a tin of chopped tomatoes
- tsp each of dried thyme, oregano and basil
- a can of pasatta
- handful of mushrooms sliced
- 1 red pepper chopped
for the macaroni cheese
- 1 pack of macaroni
- 20g plain flour
- 40g butter
- 425ml milk
- grated cheese
to make the bolognese…
- Fry mince, onions and garlic puree in a deep pan until browned and softened
- Add in the tomato paste and mix well till combined
- Add in the pasatta, chopped tomatoes and herbs and bring to the boil
- Add in vegetables and simmer until thickened (about 30 minutes)
- At this point you can leave to cool if needed
to make the macaroni cheese…
- Add the macaroni to boiling water and cook till softened
- Meanwhile melt the butter in a pan with the flour and mix till a roux is formed
- Add in the milk and stir until thickened – season and then stir in the cheese, taking off the heat
- Mix the cooked macaroni into the cheese and then begin assembly…
in a lasagna dish layer first bolognese then macaroni cheese until almost full. cover with a layer of grated cheese and a little grated parmesan if you have it then bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes or until browned. serve with a green salad and crusty bread and of course a cheap bottle of red!