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Gourmet Macaroni Cheese

  • 15 minutes
  • 40 minutes
  • 4-5
Gourmet Macaroni Cheese

I've never been a fan of the typical macaroni cheese, probably because it was not on the menu as a kid. I was raised in a traditional 1960s home where we were more likely to have shepherd's pie than pasta dishes. But once I dreamed up this idea of taking macaroni cheese to the next level, replacing the white sauce with cream, eggs and quality Parmesan, well, I was converted. A plucky little crumble of all things deli - sun dried tomatoes, olives, capers and basil - scattered on top before serving makes this a heavenly version of macaroni cheese.


  • 150-200 grams macaroni or penne pasta
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups cream or mascarpone
  • 1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped black olives
  • ¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes or capsicums
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ¼ cup pesto


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease a 6-cup capacity ovenproof lasagne-style dish.
  2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes until al-dente. (The pasta will not soften further once it is mixed with the eggs and cream, so ensure it is tender at this stage). Drain and scatter into the prepared dish.
  3. In large a bowl, beat together the eggs, cream or mascarpone and cheese and season well with salt and pepper. Scatter the pasta into the prepared dish and pour over the cream filling.
  4. Place in a water bath (bain marie) and bake in the preheated oven for 40 miutes until almost set.
  5. Toss together the olives, sundried tomatoes or capsicums, basil or parsley and capers. Sprinkle over the top before serving. Dollop the pesto around and serve hot with a crisp leafy salad and/or a plate of sliced juicy tomatoes dressed with salt, pepper and a little olive oil.

Cooks Tips

- To create a water bath or bain marie, place the macaroni cheese dish into a much larger roasting dish. Fill the area between the two dishes with sufficient water to come halfway up the sides of the macaroni cheese dish. - Accompany each serve with half a bulb of roast garlic. To prepare, cut 2 bulbs of garlic horizontally in half and place on a large piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap securely to enclose. Bake alongside the macaroni cheese for 35-40 minutes or until the garlic is tender when a skewer is inserted. - Cooking egg-based dishes in a water bath ensures that they cook gently, without boiling, which ensure the finished dish is not tough or overcooked.

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