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Macaroni cheese with creamy Bolognaise

Recipe from: 29 April 2013
bolognaise mac and cheese

Ingredients 22
Servings 4
Time 00:20


  • 400
    short pasta noodles like macaroni or rigatoni – cooked to al dente
  • For the meat sauce:
  • 1
    onion - finely chopped
  • 1
    star anise pod
  • splash of olive oil
  • 2
    cloves of garlic crushed
  • 500
    beef mince
  • 125
    red wine – and maybe a splash more
  • 1
  • 1
    miso paste
  • 2
  • parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme – all chopped
  • 1
    dried chilli flakes
  • For the Bèchamel sauce:
  • 50
  • 80
  • 2.5 - 3
  • 1
    Dijon mustard
  • 1
    freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and white pepper - to taste
  • 3/4
    breadcrumbs fried in about 50g of butter
  • 1/4
    grated Parmesan cheese for the top


Fry the onions and star anise over a low temperature in the olive oil until soft. Remove the star anise, add the garlic and the mince and turn up the heat. Fry this until the meat has caramelised (see note below).

Add the wine and and deglaze the pan and allow the liquid to cook off.

Add the rest of the ingredients and allow them to bubble away for a minimum of 45 minutes, but longer if possible.

Make the Bèchamel by melting the butter in a small pot and then add the flour to form a roux. Cook this for a bit until it is stiff. 

Add the milk bit by bit, continuing to whisk all the time until the sauce has thickened. Add the mustard, nutmeg and seasoning.

Mix the cooked pasta with the Bolognaise sauce and add about 2/3 of the Bèchamel sauce and mix evenly.

Empty this into an appropriately sized oven dish. Spread the remaining Bèchamel sauce over the top, sprinkle the crumb garnish and Parmesan cheese, and bake in an oven that has been pre-heated to 180°C for 25 minutes until golden and bubbling.

A note on herbs: use a small bunch of parsley , about 5 sage leaves, 4 – 5 sprigs of thyme, 2 small sprigs of rosemary (leaves removed). There are no precise measurement here, you will have to wing it. But chop them all up fairly finely.

A note on the meat: fry the meat further than you would normally, until all the liquid has cooked off and the meat starts to caramelise. The browning that happens to the meat is called the Maillard reaction and is when the protein in the meat changes to sugar compounds. Different flavours develop during the process.

Follow Sam Linsell on Twitter @Drizzleanddip.


Read more on: recipe  |  bake  |  pasta  |  beef  |  shallow-fry

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