|Macaroni pasta||400 Gram|
|Ground beef||1⁄2 Kilogram (sirloin, if you want minimal fat)|
|Tomatoes||1⁄4 Kilogram, chopped|
|Onions||1⁄4 Kilogram, chopped|
|Garlic||5 Clove (25 gm), finely chopped (peeled)|
|Tomato paste||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Tomato catsup||200 Milliliter|
|Butter||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)|
|Milk||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Water||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Cheddar cheese||225 Gram, grated|
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a sauce pan. Add the ground beef, breaking up the lumps. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the meat starts to brown or until cooked. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until soft. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the tomato catsup. Season with salt, pepper and some sugar. The sugar will neutralize the acidity of the tomato paste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for few minutes.
While the sauce simmers, prepare the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan. When frothy, add the flour all at once, stirring. Let the flour cook for about 5 minutes to remove any floury taste in the cooked topping. Usually, the flour is cooked when the mixture starts to turn golden brown. Pour in the water in a thin stream, stirring as you do. The mixture will be lumpy at this stage. Pour in the milk slowly, again, stirring as you pour. By the time all the milk has been incorporated into the mixture, it will appear to be a little thin. Don’t worry; the cheese will thicken them to the required consistency. Add the cheese. Set the heat to low and let the cheese melts, stirring the mixture occasionally. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper.
When the sauce is done, add the cooked pasta and toss well.
Pour the pasta and sauce into a baking dish. Make sure that the dish is large enough so that the mixture is an inch below the rim. You will still be adding the topping. Everything will simmer and bubble during baking and you don’t want the sauce and topping falling onto the oven floor.
Pour the topping onto the pasta mixture, spreading to seal the edges. If you don’t seal the edges, the exposed pasta will dry up during baking.
Bake in a preheated 200-220oC oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. How brown depends on you. A well-browned topping is more aromatic and attractive.
Let the baked macaroni rest for about 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with garlic sticks or buttered toast.
For gourmet cooking:
Add ½ cup of cream cheese aside from the cheddar cheese for the topping.