I bloody love macaroni cheese. When I was growing up, it was my most favourite dish. Beating gammon steak, chips, peas and pineapple (from the Little Chef) into second place. Even though my mother ALWAYS overcooked the pasta.
Macaroni cheese reminds me of my childhood, which, while not filled with material possessions, was always comforting , safe and wam. Just like the dish itself.
As such, I don’t like my macaroni played with too much. Even the more American style Mac & Cheese, while undoubtedly delicious when done well (@ I’m looking at you), can’t quite elicit the emotional response of a more traditional style dish. But sometimes it pays to break the habits of a lifetime, and on this occasion I dropped the cheese and added some fish.
A sacrilege maybe. But it tasted marvellous.
- 600 ml double cream
- 400g boneless fish (I used salmon and smoked haddock with some additional cooked crayfish tails)
- A few strands of saffron
- A bay leaf
- 200g macaroni (or other spiral pasta)
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 50g sourdough bread
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan
- A few sprigs of dill
- A little parsley
- Salt & pepper
- Heat the oven to 200C
- Pour the cream into a pan and add the raw fish
- Add the bay leaf, garlic, a little pepper and a few strands of saffron
- Bring almost to the boil and then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes
- Set aside for 10-20 mins to further infuse the cream
- At the same time, boil the pasta in salted water for nine minutes
- Remove the fish from the cream discarding the skin.
- Place the flaked fish in a baking dish and add the crayfish if using here
- Stir the mustard into the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Add the pasta and the cream into the baking dish and mix the ingredients together
- Blitz the bread, parmesan and dill in a blender and scatter over the pasta mix
- Bake for about 20-25 mins until the crust is crisp and golden
- Top with a little parsley and serve.
Serves 3-4. But not in this house.