Macaroni cheese with basil and garlic

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Tom Aikens demonstrates how to make the perfect macaroni and cheese, using milk infused with bay, thyme, fresh basil and Dijon mustard. Tom uses both Gruyère and Parmesan for the cheese in this 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.

First published in 2015




Macaroni cheese with basil and garlic


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
  • 600ml of milk
  • 6g of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
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

Tom Aikens is one of the most creative and talented chefs Britain has ever seen, with a restaurant empire to match.

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