This dish is my kid's favorite. I wish I could take full credit for it but alas I can't. This is a Jamie Oliver recipe from his book jamie' dinners. Lots of great recipes in there so check it out. What I love about Jamie Oliver, outside of his darling personality and dashing good looks (did I just print that? - sorry honey!) is Jamie's ability to excite me about food. He loves to cook organic and fresh and he is brimming with ideas. His recipes are un-intimidating. Can't say enough.
The first time I read this recipe I gazed over the ingredients and put the breaks on when it listed 2 anchovies. I thought no way will my kids go for that. I am here to tell you it works and the dish isn't the same without it. It gives this that extra bite with NO fish, anchovy taste. You will love it. And your kids will boast that they do in fact eat anchovies!
tomato macaroni cheese by jamie oliver
12 oz macaroni
6 to 7 slices bread ( I use fresh baked crutons that I purchase from the store)
1 3/4 lb super ripe tomatoes, chopped (again if I don't have fresh I add a can of diced tomatoes that has been drained)
1 clove garlic
2 handfuls fresh basil
2 oz sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 anchovies - I used 2 tsp anchovy paste
3 handfuls grated parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups light cream - I have used milk or 1.2 and 1.2
1 tbls red wine vinegar
1/2 nutmeg grated - or a good pinch
14 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced or broken up
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook your macaroni according to directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta's cooking water. Put tomatoes, garlic, basil, sun-dried tomatoes anchovy paste and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a food processor and whizz. Then add 2 handfuls of the parmesan, cream, vinegar and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Watch out here: my food processor is not large enough to handle all of the cream so I add a little and blend then add the rest once I have transfered it to a bowl. Season to taste - it is even good at this point.
Once your pasta is cooked place it in a baking dish and pour the tomato cream sauce over it. Add a few spoonfuls of the pasta liquid 1/4 cup even. It will seem really runny but don't worry that pasta soaks it up. Place the sliced mozzarella over the top. Mix the bread crumbs , remaining parmesan cheese and thyme and sprinkle over the top. Drizzle with olive oil. Cook for 20 - 25 minutes until bubbly and golden on the top. Enjoy with a good salad.