This is a relatively light mac-and-cheese that doesn’t need a white sauce, but does taste heavenly thanks to the addition of sour cream and good-quality cheddar.
- 300 g macaroni
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250 g speck (see Note) or 6 streaky bacon rashers, cut into lardons
- 80 g butter, melted
- 150 g (1¼ cups) coarsely grated cheddar
- 300 g sour cream
- 35 g (½ cup) stale breadcrumbs
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need 6 x 250 ml baking dishes for this recipe.
Cook macaroni in a saucepan of boiling salted water, but keep it just a little less cooked than if you were going to serve it straight away. Rinse in cold water immediately until cold, then return to pan and toss in olive oil to stop it sticking together.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place speck in a large frying pan over high heat. Cook for 3 minutes or until light golden. Toss it through the pasta with 2 tablespoons of butter, 120 g cheddar and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Place breadcrumbs in a bowl and toss with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until combined.
Divide pasta mixture among 6 x 250 ml baking dishes and top with breadcrumb mixture and remaining 30 g cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until warmed through, and cheese and breadcrumbs start to brown.
• Speck, available from selected supermarkets, delis and butchers, is German-style smoked bacon.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 10, pg 35.
Photography by Alan Benson.