If you have watched enough Jamie Oliver’s shows, cooking Western dishes become really easy. Recently, there is a new Jamie Oliver’s show on Discovery Travel and Living channel call Oliver’s Twist. He teaches Americans cooking British. There was one which he slapped a freshly deep fried fish in beer batter on a newspaper and I can see the faces of the American’s cringe.
Anyway, this recipe is not from Jamie Oliver. Just that I am now used to throwing things together to make a dish in a carefree way like Jamie.
The baked macaroni cheese with meatballs or baked macaroni with meat balls and cheese is a collection of leftovers found in my fridge.
I boiled some pasta and use some leftover pasta sauce. I used about 300 grams dried macaroni, boiled for a while till al dente (not too soft because it will cook further during baking)
I made the beef balls from 300 grams Australian minced beef, 3 slices of bread (soak the bread in some milk to mush it), 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of cornflour. Seasoned with dashes of Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce, pepper and salt.
To get firmer meatballs, mix all the ingredients and then, whack the blob of meat against a metal basin or large bowl. Then you can easily spoon them and pan fry.
If you are baking the pasta, use a little milk so that the pasta doesn’t dried up and become hard. I use 250 ml of milk, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 bay leave, some oregano, salt. I heat up the milk with all the herbs and butter and leave it for a while.
I assembled all the above into a baking dish. Note that I am using an oven proof glass dish, not your regular glass bowl. Actually, you can eat them as it is.
But it is more fun to bake and serve. I grated some cheddar and mozarella cheese on top and bake the dish for about 15 minutes at 190 deg celcius. Then, I leave it in the oven to keep warm.
When it comes to home cooking, there is no rules to stick to. Sometimes, people who are not familiar with cooking will get intimidated with all those recipes with strict measurements and methods.
Reading them gives me headaches and total confusion. I looked up a BBC recipe for baked macaroni and meatballs and oh boy, I lost my way after a few para. So, I decided to simplify things.
Briefly, what needs to be done are :
1) Boil pasta and mix in some pasta sauce
2) Make meatballs
3) Make some milk/herb sauce
4) Add all into big baking dish
5) Cover with cheese