While the classic baked macaroni with cheese that Americans love consist only of macaroni, cheese, and milk, the Filipino version goes one step further and turns it into a meatier version of its western counterpart. Here is a recipe for Filipino style baked mac with cheese.
- 500 grams elbow or salad macaroni
- 1 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 500 grams ground beef
- 1 pc. Knorr beef cube
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 white onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 500 grams tomato sauce
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups fresh milk
- 1/2 cup quick melt cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Cook the elbow or salad macaroni according to the package instructions, remove from the water, cool, and set aside.
- Next, cook the meat sauce. Saute the garlic, bell peppers, and onions in oil for 3 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until the meat is brown. Add the knorr cube and salt and pepper to taste.
- Next, pour the tomato sauce over the meat and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and season again to taste. Optional: For a more Italian flavor, add oregano and basil to this mix.
- Simmer for ten minutes or until the mixture is homogenous. Remove from heat and prepare the white sauce.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour, stirring continuously to prevent burning. When the flour is dissolved in the butter and there are no lumps, pour in the milk and continue stirring until you get a thick mixture. To ensure smoothness, use a wire whisk to stir and mix.
- Next, add in the quick melt cheese and stir until it melts and is totally combined in the white sauce. Remove from heat and assemble baked macaroni.
- In a bowl, mix the meat sauce and the pasta. Add a few spoons of the white sauce to the mix and add half a cup of the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well.
- Pour the pasta into a baking dish or baking pan and smooth the top to get an even surface. Pour on top the rest of the white sauce and sprinkle the entire top with the shredded cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with grated parmesan.
- Preheat your home or bakery oven to 375F or 190C. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Serve hot with garlic bread.