Tom Aikens demonstrates how to make the perfect macaroni cheese, using milk infused with bay and thyme, fresh basil and Dijon mustard. Tom uses both Gruyère and Parmesan for the cheese in this macaroni cheese recipe, which gives this common dish a satisfyingly rich flavour, but if you are looking to make this recipe for vegetarians, select cheeses made with vegetarian rennet. For some suggestions, see our blog post on vegetarian cheese options

Start by cooking some pasta of your choice in a pan of boiling water. Once cooked, strain the pasta and set aside
Place the milk into a pan over a low-medium heat and add the thyme and bay. Bring up to a warm heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes
Meanwhile, place a separate pan over a low heat and add the butter and garlic. Cook out for 2-3 minutes then add the flour. Heat for for 2-3 minutes and stir constantly so the mixture comes together
Strain the milk, thyme and bay mixture so that you are just left with the infused milk. Gradually (over 5 minutes) add the infused milk to the other pan and stir with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer
Take the pan off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the cheese, mustard, basil and pasta to the pan and then pour the contents of the pan into a casserole dish. Cover with some extra cheese and place in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes
Remove the dish from the oven, divide the macaroni cheese into 4 portions and serve immediately
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Wine Matching

Find out why we suggest matching this Macaroni cheese recipe with a medium and round red wine, a rosé wine, or a light-bodied red wine


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Award-winning chef Tom Aikens shares his perfect macaroni cheese recipe which can be prepared in 60 minutes. Serve this macaroni cheese as a devilishly good mid-week supper

Macaroni cheese recipe Tweaks

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I added a bit more butter as there seemed to be too much flour listed in the ingredients. Turned out lovely!
7 August 2012