I was first introduced to Macaroni Pie when I met my husband. It is one of those comfort foods that is part of most Sunday dinners and holiday dinners in Barbados. I fell in the love with the spicy undertones and the tangy bites of the cheese sauce and the firm yet tender texture of the pasta. Its like snuggling into a quilt fresh and hot from the dryer on a cold, snowy day; heavenly!! Over the last 26 years of our marriage, I’ve developed my own version of the Macaroni Pie. Adding and tweaking things until it has become a family classic!
A mixture of olive oil and butter is a great combination that adds depth and flavor. It’s a great base for the vegetables to saute in and for the sauce!
After the vegetables are sauteed add flour to make a roux. A roux is basically a way to thicken a sauce using a starch (in this case flour) Don’t worry if it looks slightly lumpy because as you add the milk and keep stirring it turns into a smooth thickened mixture.
Add the flour into the sauteed mixture and stir it in quickly to avoid lumps.
After the milk mixture begins to thicken add the cheeses and stir in. It will melt and turn into an amazing and delicious sauce.
Add pasta into the sauce and pour into a 9″ x 13″ in pan and top with Parmesan cheese and Panko breading. I love Panko because it becomes crunchy and delicious when baked without adding any additional fat. If you decide to use regular bread crumbs add a couple of tablespoons of butter to the bread crumbs before spreading it over the top of the pasta.
Wish you could smell this. It’s the perfect crunch on the top with cheesy goodness on the inside.
Nothing like the perfect comfort food!
Here’s the recipe:
1 16 oz box of mini Fusicili or elbow macaroni
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 green onions
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic , minced
1 tsp Chili ( like Shiracha)
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 cup grated Sharp cheddar
1 cup grated mozzarella
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup Japanese bread crumbs (Panko)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
In a large 6 quart pan bring water to boil. Liberally salt the water (2-3 tablespoons) add pasta and cook about 7 minutes until pasta is al dente. Drain.
In a sauce pan heat butter and olive oil together. Add green onion, yellow onion and red bell pepper and stir fry 2-3 minutes. When onions are translucent, add the garlic and stir fry an additional minute. Add salt, fresh cracked pepper, mustard and chili sauce. Stir together another minute or so and add flour to the mixture, quickly stir in all the flour, when its incorporated, slowly begin to pour in the milk and keep stirring. Mixture should start to thicken. Add Mozzarella, Sharp cheddar and Parmesan stir until cheese is melted. The sauce should be flavorful and smooth. Add pasta to the mixture and pour into a sprayed 9 x 13 baking pan. Sprinkle Panko and Parmesan cheese evenly over the pasta and bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm.