Macaroni cheese

Tuck into an upmarket macaroni cheese with Simon Rimmer's tasty recipe, flavoured with shallots and sun-blushed tomatoes
By Simon Rimmer
Macaroni cheese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 400 g macaroni
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 12 sun-blushed tomatoes
  • 25 g parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

For the cheese sauce

  • 500 ml milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 25 g butter
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 150 g mature cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 1 pinches black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Boil the macaroni according to the packet instructions, then drain and set aside.

2. For the cheese sauce: pour the milk into a saucepan, add the bay leaves and heat to scalding point. Remove from the heat and, when the milk has cooled a little, discard the bay leaves.

3. Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, taking care not to let it brown. Stir in a little of the milk and cook briefly, then gradually add the rest of the milk, stirring until you have a smooth sauce.

4. Bring the sauce to the boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes until thickened. Take off the heat and stir in the Cheddar, mustard, salt and freshly ground pepper.

5. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the shallots until translucent. Add the macaroni, cherry tomatoes, sun-blushed tomatoes and cheese sauce. The sauce should coat, not swamp, the macaroni. If necessary, add a little milk to loosen the consistency.

6. Heat the mixture through, then pour into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 6-8 minutes.

7. Place the dish under a hot grill for a minute or so, until the cheese is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve at once.

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