Friday, 31 August 2012

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Tomato Sauce

a lacto vegetarian dish

This dish was inspired by my craving for mac n' cheese and my refusal to eat any more of those easy cook boxes that Kraft produces.  Even if it's home made, I know it's always unhealthy to indulge in carb loaded food items but what's a 22-year-old lad to do when the comfort food craving comes?

Hey, at least it has some fresh tomato sauce in it!


macaroni and cheese


If you follow the recipe strictly, you'll come up with a boat/bowl that would serve:

- 3 to 5 people, or
- 1 very hungry and greedy obese teenager (Of course it's not me. I'm not obese and I'm not a teenager!)


You will need:
- 200 grams of elbow macaroni (Any shape will do but elbow macaroni is symbolic) 
- 4 cups of suitable-for-vegetarians grated hard melting cheese
- 4 medium sized western tomatoes (or 6 regular Roma/Bangalore tomatoes), peeled and finely chopped 
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion  
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of vegetarian oyster mushroom sauce or vegetarian stir fry sauce

If you don't have the last ingredient (vegetarian stir fry sauce or vegetarian oyster mushroom sauce), you may use an alternative sauce:
- Mix 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to 1 & a half tablespoons of molasses and 1 tablespoon of hot water

To make this dish suitable for vegans, use the following alternative:
- hard soy melting cheese

Let's make the tomato sauce:
1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or wok and drop in your onion.  Cook it for about two minutes. 
2. Drop in your chopped tomatoes followed immediately by your stir fry sauce. 
3. Cook it for 7 minutes with a lot of stirring and wok movement.

Now, let's work on the rest of it:
1. Cook the macaroni.  I don't need to tell you how to do that! 
2. Take 2/3 (two-thirds) of your tomato sauce and 2/3 of your cheese, mix it thoroughly with the cooked macaroni and put it all in a boat or casserole dish. 
3. Spoon the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the macaroni and sprinkle the rest of your cheese on it.  Make sure you don't leave a spot uncovered.  You may use more cheese if you feel the need to. 
4. Pop the boat or casserole dish in a preheated oven at 200°C or 392°F for 15 to 20 minutes. 
5. Turn off the oven heat and turn on your grill feature for about 40 to 60 seconds to slightly burn your cheese.  Be very careful not to burn it too much or you'll end up ruining the whole dish.


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