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  • 2018
  • April
  • Cheese
  • comfort food
  • midweek meal
  • super club
  • Dinner
  • Foodforfriends
  • Cheese


  • 45mins min
  • 6 servings


By Annie Bell

Most of us would sell our souls for a bowl of mac ’n’ cheese, happily disregarding good intentions. So we hope that this alternative version in which a tomato sauce replaces the usual rich white one will win friends. You still get generous pockets of gooey cheese, and a lovely crispy top, but it is altogether fresher. The gold standard here involves making your own slowcooked sauce, and I would up the quantity, as it freezes beautifully. But otherwise, a couple of tubs of a good ready-made tomato sauce will still turn out a decent mac ’n’ cheese.

This wonderful recipe is from The Modern Dairy by Annie Bell published by Kyle Books UK with photography by Con Poulos.

Step by Step (tick the boxes as you go)
  • 1 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and preheat the oven to 190°C fan/210°C/ gas mark 61⁄2.
  • 2 Add the macaroni to the pan, give it a stir and cook until almost tender, then drain it into a colander and return it to the pan.
  • 3 Toss with the tomato sauce and mix in the sun-dried tomatoes and the gruyère.
  • 4 Transfer to a 30cm oval gratin or other similar-sized ovenproof dish. You could also make it in large individual bowls, so each one serves two.
  • 5 Toss the cocktail tomatoes with the oil and seasoning and scatter over, then top with the Parmesan.
  • 6 Bake for 30–35 minutes until golden and sizzling.
  • 300g macaroni
  • 2 × 350g tubs (or 700g) fresh Napoletana tomato sauce
  • 75g sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 175g gruyère, cut into thin strips a few centimetres long
  • 150g cocktail tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, black pepper
  • 25g Parmesan, freshly grate
You’ll need
  • Large pan
  • Large ovenproof dish