Baked Macaroni with Pineapple

Baked Macaroni with Pineapple

Baked Macaroni with Pineapple

A comforting baked dish for those cold winter evenings!

This pasta bake has comfort food written all over it. Buttery, creamy, cheesy with a perfectly cooked macaroni and it comes with a twist! I strongly feel that Mac and cheese should be uncomplicated as it is a soul-warming food.

I don’t really like this dish from restaurants as you can taste the uncooked flour and its slightly powdery. Home cooked dish is creamy and a very comforting dish for cold winter days when you crave something satisfying. This homemade baked dish is my most favorite and has pleased my friends, families, children and even the pickiest eaters. 

It’s a straightforward recipe, starting with a basic butter-flour roux that is used to thicken milk to make the cheese sauce. This is one of those recipe that never goes wrong (if you follow the recipe correctly)!

While Cheddar cheese is most commonly used for macaroni and cheese, other cheeses may also be used—usually sharp in flavor—and two or more cheeses can be combined. Popular recipes include using Gruyere, Gouda, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. You can always experiment with the cheese and add according to your taste.

Ingredients

One cup of macaroni
One tin of pineapple (chopped)
2 tablespoons of plain flour/Maida
2 tablespoons of butter
Few drops of oil
2 cups of milk
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon of white pepper
1 cup of grated cheese

Directions

Step-1

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Boil one cup of macaroni as per packet instructions and set it aside.

Cut the pineapple into small pieces. Don’t drain the water from the tin.

Step-2

Heat butter and a few drops of oil in a pan and add white flour in it and roast it for few minutes on low heat. (1-2 min)

When the mixture turns slightly golden brown, add the milk little at a time and ½ cup of tinned water and whisk to remove any lumps and continue stirring until it thickens and starts to bubble (3-4 min).

Keep it on low heat.

Step-3

Then add boiled macaroni, chopped pineapple, salt and pepper to the sauce.

Grease a baking tray and transfer the macaroni in the tray. Sprinkle cheese and if you want some butter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 min until the cheese turns slightly golden and bubbling.

Tips & Variations

  1. You can omit the pineapple and make simple Mac and cheese if you don’t like pineapple.
  2. When you add butter to the pan it’s helpful to add some oil, so that the butter does not get burnt.
  3. You can add some butter on top to make it more luxurious.
  4. You can prepare the dish in advance and keep it in fridge to bake later. Keep the sauce a bit creamier by adding more milk as the macaroni will absorb the sauce.
  5. Don’t stop stirring the milk once it hits the pan as it can either make lumps or scorch. Stir until that sauce is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon.
  6. Use good quality cheese in your dish. I would avoid bagged, pre-grated cheeses because they contain cellulose (an anti-caking agent) that can in some cases cause your cheese not to melt as it should.
  7. You can experiment with the cheeses. My favourite is cheddar! Choose melting cheeses for the best texture.
  8. Taste the cheese sauce before you add the pasta. Different cheeses have different proportions of salt so tasting makes a big difference at this point.
  9. You don’t always have to bake your Mac and cheese. You can actually just serve it right from the pan.
  10. Be creative with this dish as it loves a bit of flair. I have added pineapple here but you can add veggies like broccoli and  asparagus. You can top it with peppers, onion, panko bread crumbs and can also add dried herbs of your choice.
  11. Cool macaroni slightly and lightly coat in butter. This stops the macaroni from absorbing more liquid while baking, resulting in bloated overcooked pasta (hot pasta absorbs liquid faster, butter creates a thin film of protection) and less sauce
  12. This Macaroni Cheese recipe can stay fresh in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Like I said earlier make extra sauce as it will get absorbed by the pasta and you will be left with dry, sauce less pasta.

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