In the Bahamas, Trinidad and Barbados they call it Macaroni Pie, but in Jamaica we call it Macaroni and Cheese. I really have no idea how this dish became a Caribbean favorite, but it’s definitely a must-have side dish at my family gatherings. This one is my grandmother’s recipe and it’s not only delicious, but also legendary. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or a summer BBQ, nowadays my daughter Diane is the one who always makes macaroni and cheese for the buffet table. I’m sharing this recipe with you today so, if you want, you’ll have time to add it to your Easter Sunday dinner menu. It’s super cheesy and just plain good!
12 oz (375g) Elbow macaroni (+2 Tbsp salt for boiling water)
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp All-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups Milk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 to 1/4 tsp Ground nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Grated old cheddar cheese
Salt to taste
1/2 cup Grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Bread crumbs
Cook 12 oz pasta in a pot of salted, boiling water for about 12 minutes or until tender (do not overcook; it will cook more in the oven).
Drain well and set aside.
Prepare cheese sauce:
1. Meanwhile, heat butter in large saucepan over medium heat until melted.
2. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute until mixture is just bubbling.
3. Gradually whisk in milk stirring rapidly to avoid lumps; stir until sauce boils and begins to thicken. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered.
4. Stir in mustard, nutmeg and salt & pepper to taste; stir occasionally for 5 minutes or until thickened; remove from heat.
5. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese until melted and combined.
6. Fold pasta into sauce and stir until combined; add salt to taste.
Layer Mac & Cheese:
1. Pour 1/2 of the pasta mixture into a 2L glass or ceramic casserole.
2. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheddar and 1/4 cup mozzarella on the bottom layer.
3. Pour remaining pasta mixture and spread as a top layer.
4. Sprinkle remaining cheddar and mozzarella on the top layer.
5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesan and 1/4 cup bread crumbs on the top layer.
Bake in preheated oven at 350F (180C) for 30 minutes.
Serves 10 to 12.