Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese fresh from the oven on the left, and the ingredients to make it on the right. @intothesauce, Into the Sauce, Tori Falzon, #intothesauce

Mac and cheese you guys. This is my recipe for the ultimate night on the couch watching The Office for the 500th time (or Succession, or Dexter New Blood, or This Is Us, or Ted Lasso, or Hacks, wow there is some good TV atm, I cannot keep up). You can get all these ingredients from Coles and Woolies. How good is mac and cheese? Comfort food! And don’t forget a salad. This one needs the acidity to balance and cut through the richness. 


  • 300g short pasta such as macaroni, shells, fusilli

For the breadcrumbs:

  • 50g butter
  • 1 cup panko
  • 30g Parmesan, finely grated

For the sauce:

  • 80g butter (30g + 50g)
  • 4 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 50g plain or 00 flour
  • 500ml full cream milk
  • 150g Comté, finely grated
  • 170g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
  • Pinch of finely grated nutmeg

To serve:

  • An acidic salad to accompany this is a must! Something simple like butter lettuce, good balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil is perfect.

Serves 4


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Cook pasta in plenty of salted, boiling water until very al dente (it will cook further in the oven), reserve some pasta water, strain and set aside.
  3. For the breadcrumbs, melt 50g butter in a fry pan over medium heat and toss through Panko, stirring often, until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and stir through 30g Parmesan, season with salt flakes and set aside.
  4. In a saucepan, melt 30g butter over medium.
  5. Sauté shallots, garlic and thyme until tender, then remove to a bowl (use a spatula to make sure the pan is empty).
  6. In the same pan, melt 50g butter for the béchamel.
  7. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until beginning to go golden (like Caramilk golden). It will smell biscuity and give our mac and cheese a toasted, nutty flavour.
  8. Bit by bit, whisk in the milk over medium heat. Continue to whisk until sauce is smooth and noticeably thickened (10 mins).
  9. Turn off the heat and stir in Comté, Parmesan, nutmeg and your sautéed garlic, shallots and thyme. Loosen with about ½ cup pasta water.
  10. Stir the sauce through pasta and season to taste.
  11. Spoon the mix into a baking dish, top with your toasted panko and bake for 15 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and golden at the edges. Serve with a salad!

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