Caprese Mac and Cheese
Recipe type: Pasta, Baked pasta, Mac and cheese, Dinner
for the sauce
- 100g butter
- ½ cup flour
- 1 litre milk, warmed with 1 bay leaf, ½ onion and 5 black peppercorns
- pinch of nutmeg
- 150g gruyere/ other strong, mature cheese, grated
- salt & white pepper to taste
for the tomato layer
- 400g tin whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
for the mac and cheese
- 500g pasta of your choice (I used a spiral shaped tube), cooked + 1 cup of cooking water reserved
- 8 ripe tomatoes, sliced into ½ cm slices
- ½ cup basil pesto
- 150g fior di latte (or other mozzarella of your choice)
- To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan then add the flour and whisk to make a roux.
- Slowly whisk in the milk until it has been fully incorporated.
- Turn the heat down, add the nutmeg and allow the sauce to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Turn down the heat then add the cheese, salt and pepper and stir until the cheese has melted.
- Mix the sauce with the pasta and add a little of the cooking water should the sauce be too thick.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
- To make the tomato layer, add the salt and sugar to the tomatoes and blend with a stick blender until smooth. Pour in the bottom of an oven-proof dish.
- Place half of the pasta in the dish on top of the tomatoes then top with half of the tomato slices and cheese. Dollop on the basil pesto.
- Top with the remaining pasta.
- Top with the remaining tomatoes and cheese then place in the oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes are roasted slightly and the cheese has melted and is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.