Gabriel on the whole is a good eater. When we started weaning just before he turned 6 months old he jumped in and was ready to give anything a good mauling. However, as with all kiddies some times nothing he is presented with is right! I have a few fail safe meals for when he is off his food, whether it be due to teething, a bug, or just holding out for more yummy jaffa cakes like Grandad feeds him 😉
This is both Gabriel and my husband Gary’s favourite meal by far. Quick and simple to make, low cost and very tasty. I always make extra for lunch the following day and have also found it freezes relatively well making for a quick “ready meal” when even the 30 minutes to make Mac ‘n’ Cheese from scratch is too much. This recipe will feed 4-6 depending on age and appetite.
500g dried pasta – it doesn’t have to be macaroni pasta, we often use a wholemeal spelt fusilli which works really well
600ml whole milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon flour
250 g cheddar cheese and 50 parmesan (or 300g cheddar)
Boil the pasta until it is Al dente – usually 3 or 4 minutes less that packet instructions – drain and set to one side.
Heat the butter in a pan and once melted add the mustard powder and flour, cooking for about a minute. Gradually whisk in the milk making sure there are no lumps and then simmer whilst continuously stirring until it has thickened, normally this will take 5 minutes but I have had it take up to 10 minutes to reach the right consistency.
Once it is the right thickness add the cheddar and half the parmesan (or 275g of the cheddar). Mix in the pasta until it is all covered and then put into an oven proof dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar/parmasan on top and bake in a preheated oven at around 200C for 15-20 minutes. If freezing I freeze before baking stage.
We love little extras in our Macaroni Cheese and I will often add bacon bits, sliced tomato on the top before baking, cauliflower or broccoli turning it into a pasta and vegetable bake, or just any little left overs in the fridge that I think will mix in well.