How to turn cheese rinds into a glorious pasta bake sauce – recipe | Food


Clear out any cheese rinds and odds and ends from your fridge, and melt them down for this simple, flavourful, waste-saving twist on mac and cheese. The flavour of this classic staple is hugely boosted by the use of a combination of very ripe and mature cheeses, but whatever you have to hand should work well: nubbins of brie, cubes of cheddar, grated gruyere, even an oozy tub of Stinking Bishop will all taste divine in a gooey mornay sauce.

Mac and cheese rinds

This is an easy way to transform unloved cheese into a stunning midweek meal. Any one cheese will do, but a combination of ripe and mature cheeses will make it much more interesting. Once baked, the mac and cheese will keep in the fridge for up tor five days. I also love it cold, cut into bricks and dipped in tomato ketchup.

Serves 4

50g butter
60g wholegrain flour
(spelt, emmer or wheat, for example), or plain flour
500ml whole milk
150g cheese rinds
, grated or crumbled
400g dried macaroni

Optional extras
2 tsp dijon mustard
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp miso
tsp cayenne pepper

To finish
2 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
100g sauerkraut, plus extra for serving
20g stale crisps or crackers, or 40g breadcrumbs
Sliced jalapeños, to serve
Coriander sprigs, to serve

To make the cheese rind sauce, melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, then stir in the flour and cook, still stirring, for two minutes. Whisk in the milk a third at a time, beating out any lumps each time, then stir in the grated or crumbled cheese ends (I used cheddar, roquefort and mozzarella) and cook until melted. Boost the flavour and nutrition by whisking in any or all of the optional extras.

Cook the macaroni in plenty of salted boiling water until just cooked, but still firm to the bite, then drain and mix with the cheese sauce and optional spring onions (some of the chopped green tops to finish) and sauerkraut, then transfer to a large, 20cm x 20cm baking dish.

Crush and sprinkle the optional crisps, crackers or breadcrumbs over the top, and bake in a 240C (220C fan)/475F/gas 9 oven for 20 minutes, until golden on top. Remove, leave to rest for 10 minutes, then serve with topped with the optional reserved spring onion tops, sliced jalapeños, extra sauerkraut and coriander sprigs.

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