Recipe: Wild Garlic Macaroni Cheese

Wild garlic season is once again upon us, and with a lane near us generously fringed with these fragrant leaves, it would be rude to walk by them and not grab an handful or two. I’ve made lots of lovely things with the annual crop of wild garlic, and each year I like to try something new. This time I turned some odds and sods of cheese, some pasta and a few handfuls of wild garlic into this delicious wild garlic macaroni cheese.

I can’t tell you how good my house smells now. The wild garlic baked in the over in the macaroni cheese has made everything smell extra delicious. This is a really simple recipe, it’s my standard go to macaroni cheese recipe, but with shredded wild garlic leaves scattered through it. It’s a really simple way of making something fairly basic into something fantastic.

Recipe: Wild Garlic Macaroni Cheese

Wild Garlic Macaroni Cheese

Ingredients:

250g dried macaroni pasta
50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
Approx one pint of milk, maybe more, maybe less
200g mature cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
20g (approx) wild garlic, roughly chopped
30g breadcrumbs

Recipe: Wild Garlic Macaroni Cheese

How to make this Wild Garlic Macaroni Cheese:
To make this wild garlic macaroni cheese; melt the butter in a saucepan, once melted, tip in the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Mix until it’s a paste and then cook the flour out for a minute. Add a splash of milk and stir until it turns into a paste again. Keep adding milk in splashes and mixing until it starts to turn into a silky sauce. The amount of milk will vary, but I’d say you need at least a pint of milk.

Leave your sauce to bubble gently on the hob while you put 250g of pasta to another saucepan of boiling water. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

While your pasta cooks, grate your cheese and setting aside 50g of the cheese to top your bake with, add all of the rest of the cheese to your sauce. I usually use a good strong cheddar cheese, sometimes I’ll add some parmesan if I have it. It’s up to you. Stir, stir, stir your sauce and season with salt and pepper. I also like to add ground chilli flakes for a bit of a gentle kick, but you can leave that out if you prefer.

Taste the sauce to check the seasoning; if it’s not cheesy enough for you, now is a good time to add more cheese. Now would also be a good time to pre-heat your oven to 220°.

Once your cheese sauce and pasta have cooked, drain your pasta and stir it into the cheese sauce, add your shredded wild garlic and make sure it’s well mixed together. Pour the wild garlic macaroni cheese into a baking dish. Level the top gently with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and the fresh breadcrumbs over the top; pop it into the oven for 25 minutes, or until it’s brown and bubbly on top. Take it out of the oven and put to one side for five minutes. Serve with a big salad and crusty bread. It is garlicky perfection.

Recipe: Wild Garlic Macaroni Cheese

If you liked this, you might also like to try these other wild garlic recipes –

Recipe: Wild Garlic Macaroni Cheese