In my opinion, pasta and cheese are a great combination. Undoubtedly Macaroni and Cheese (Mac and Cheese) is a favorite in many households. Indeed also a favorite for the beginner cook, looking for an easy recipe to follow.
In the 14th century it was recorded in an Italian cookbook, Liber de Coquina. This recipe was made with parmesan cheese and paste.
A cheese and pasta casserole was also famous way back then as an English medieval cookbook had a recipe for Forme of Cury. (Referring to a dish made with fresh hand-cut pasta and a mixture of melted cheese and butter.)
Now modern recipes of Macaroni and cheese include a Béchamel sauce with cheddar cheese. In French cooking, the sauce would be called a Mornay sauce. I think the idea of macaroni, sprinkled with cheese, and baked until bubbly and golden, is simply fantastic. Some indulgence is to add heavy cream to the recipe, but this is purely optional.
What to expect!
The original recipe would have only macaroni and cheese in it, but our recipe has a twist. Topped with tomato, it gives it an extra bit of flavor, but it is optional.
As is the bacon that we’ve added.
Time: 60 mins
Course: Lunch, Dinner
This recipe is not an authentic Italian pasta recipe. It is one we came across in South Africa. A traditional homemade comfort food in many South African homes.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Bake for 30 to 40 min until golden and set.
The Italian ‘Liber de Conquino’ or ‘Book of Cooking’ dated back to the 13th century included a recipe called “de lasanis”. This is believed to be the origin of Macaroni and Cheese. The recipe called for sheet pasta cut into 2-inch squares, cooked in water, and tossed with grated cheese like Parmesan.
Americans improvised and used cheddar cheese.
Today there are thousands of versions of Mac and Cheese, even including onion, bacon, and tomato, and often a variety of cheeses.