mad about mac

You know those moments when the need for comfort food is just so incredibly great that there can be no resistance. This isn’t just binge mac attack, this is pre-meditated binge mac attack, taking mac to a level higher than it has ever been before.
This recipe feeds 4, very generously, so if this is being prepared for 1, halve the recipe (yes, I know the numbers, but it doesn’t really work quartered- I’ve tried…) and cut the cooking time by a few minutes.
Another warning, this is rich, seriously rich, heavy and supremely fattening. It doesn’t work with low fat cheese, so don’t bother trying. What I’m saying here is, if you commit to it, commit with all available information ie it will take at least 10 years on a treadmill to work off a single serve- and that’s cool, as long as you are aware. Serve with a green salad on the side to help cut through the lusciousness-you’ll need it.
This is also one of those recipes where you have to be prepared, you know with ingredients measured and ready to go- a certain amount of multi tasking is required to bring this baby together.
So, you still want to try this one? Savour every single textural mouthful? Here it is…Souffle Macaroni Cheese, or as we call it Cheffy Mac.
What you need:
250g macaroni
50g butter
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
50g plain flour
550ml milk
fresh nutmeg (grated)- about ¼ of a whole one
150g mascarpone
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten, free range of course
100g finely grated cheese- cheddar or gruyere or whatever you have similar
100g finely grated parmesan, parmigiano reggiano or romano- fresh, not that plastic grated stuff
4 egg whites
salt and pepper
Putting it together:
Prepare your ingredients, prepare your dish (something ovenproof and deep enough to take the mix and allow for the puffing thing that soufflés are supposed to do) by buttering it, prepare the oven (200C).
Let the multi-tasking begin!
·      Pop the water on to boil for the macaroni. I’m assuming you know how to boil pasta, but if not, follow the instructions on the packet.
·      In another saucepan, melt the butter, add the onions and cook gently- that means you don’t want them to brown.
·      Add the flour and stir to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the milk, stirring the whole time, and then whisk until it is silky smooth.
·      Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and let it heat through for 5 minutes- keep the heat super low, you don’t want it catching.
·      Turn off the heat, whisk in the mascarpone, eggs and cheese, holding back 50g parmesan to sprinkle on the top.
·      Pop the buttered dish in the oven to heat through
·      By now the pasta water should have boiled, so throw in the macaroni- it only needs 4-6 minutes- remember, it will be getting longer in the oven.
·      Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks- they don’t need to be stiff enough that you can do the whole upside down bowl on the head trick, just soft peaks.
·      Drain the pasta, then stir it through the cheesy mix.
·      Lightly fold in the egg whites- you want to preserve as much of the air you’ve beaten in as possible.
·      Pour the mix into the warm dish, scatter the reserved parmesan over the top
·      Pop it back into the oven for 15-17 minutes, or until it is puffy and lightly browned.
As with all soufflés, this one needs to be served immediately, so make sure you have already rounded up whoever it is that will be sharing this masterpiece of lush comfort with you.
Oh, this recipe originally came from a Delia Smith Book…I think it was the “How to Cook” one…and one is loathe to meddle too much with anything Delia has tested!