Many may turn to those store bought pre-mixes for their mac and cheese fix but these just can’t beat the home baked recipes. It may be more time-consuming to prepare it from scratch but a well-prepared dish will make it worth your while. This recipe serves four.

200g elbow macaroni

For the topping
60g Grana Padano
cheese*, grated
100g breadcrumbs
1 tbsp chives
60g butter, softened

For the cheese sauce
120g butter
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
35g flour
250ml water
250ml milk
125g gouda cheese*, grated
75g Grana Padano cheese*, grated
75g cream cheese
3 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

For the garnish
1 tbsp Grana Padano cheese*, grated
1 tbsp chives, chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 7min. Strain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
  2. For the topping, mix the Grana Padano with the breadcrumbs and chives. Mix in the butter and set aside.
  3. For the sauce, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, add the garlic. Cook for about 1min or until you can smell the garlic.
  4. Slowly whisk in the fl our and cook for 3-5min, constantly stirring the thick mixture.
  5. Add the water, whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Add the milk and whisk until smooth and creamy.
  6. Turn the heat to low and add the gouda, Grana Padano and cream cheeses. Stir with a wooden spoon, as the sauce will be very thick. When the cheeses start to melt, whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Mix the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce, season with salt and pepper, and pour into a baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the macaroni and cheese and bake for 1-2min at 180 deg C, or until the crust is golden-brown.
  9. Garnish with more Grana Padano cheese and chives.

*Available at Fairprice Finest and Jasons Marketplace. The Fairprice Finest Triple One Somerset branch is located at 111 Somerset Road , #01-04/04A/05 to 09, Singapore 238164; go to the Fairprice website for more store locations. Jasons Marketplace is located at 252 North Bridge Road, 179103, tel: 6336 2676.

Jason Chong is the head chef of Overeasy, a bar diner located at 1 Fullerton Road, #01-06, One Fullerton, Singapore 049213, tel: 6423 0701. Closed on Sundays, Overeasy’s lunch hours start from 11.30am to 2.30pm on Mondays to Fridays; the dinner and bar are open 5pm to 1am on weekdays, 5pm to 4am on weekends.

This article was originally published in SimplyHer June 2011.