Ilse Cooks the Books: Baked Cheesy Pasta
15:53 Thu, 12 Sep 2019
Ilse Cooks the Books: Baked Cheesy Pasta | News Article
I was compelled to come out of blogging retirement. Why, you ask.

Well, every once in a while, you come across a recipe that is so simple, yet so tasty, which will be a hit with adults and children alike and it is less fuss to make than getting into the car to go get a take-out.

The following, dear reader, is such a recipe. Fittingly, it’s in the chapter of Irish chef Rachel Allen’s book, Food for Living, titled Childhood Favourites.  The chapter is all about food she enjoyed as a child and which she now makes for her own children. 

The beauty of this recipe, however, is that you could just as easily feed it to guests on one of those spontaneous get-togethers, where lunch or drinks turn into dinner.  You could dress it up, with creamy blue cheese, or tone it down by only using a boat-load of good old sweetmilk cheese.   Because honestly, it’s pasta and cheese and can one ever have enough cheese?


“My sister and I absolutely loved this kind of cheesy pasta when growing up, and now I make if for my children. Sometimes, I add chopped parsley.  This can be prepared in advance and baked just before you are ready to eat.” – Rachel Allen

 Serves 4-6 

375 g dried pasta, such as shells, fusilli or macaroni

300 ml pouring cream

125 ml vegetable or chicken stock

1 tsp Dijon mustard

150 g Gruyère cheese, grated

150 g Cheddar cheese, grated

50 g Parmesan cheese, grated

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180?C.  Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain. 

Meanwhile, place the cream and stock in another saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and add the mustard, Gruyère and Cheddar cheeses and half of the parmesan. Stir to melt all the cheese.  Season with pepper (it may not need any salt). Pour into the drained pasta and stir to mix.

Pour into a 25 cm square or similar ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. When you are ready to eat, place the dish in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling and golden.

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