In Greek: μακαρόνια ογκρατέν, pronounced mah-kah-ROHN-yah oh-grah-TEN
Macaroni and cheese is a favorite dish with all families, and this oven casserole is the reason why Greeks love it. It's made a bit differently than the familiar "mac n cheese" and it's delicious! If you've been looking for a meatless version of the famous Greek Pastitsio, this is it.
- 1 pound macaroni pasta (or long ziti)
- 1 1/4 cup kefalotyri (grated; or pecorino, or regato, or other sharp white cheese)
- 3 eggs (separated)
- 1/3 cup butter (melted)
- For the Sauce:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 7 to 8 tablespoons flour
- 3 1/2 cups milk (whole)
- 1 egg yolk
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- For the Topping:
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (toasted)
Preheat oven to 390F (200C).
Make the sauce:
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.
- As soon as it melts, add in the flour a little at a time, stirring with a wire whisk or wooden spoon, until smooth and remove from heat.
- Warm the milk until it gets hot but not boiling, and add slowly to the flour mixture, stirring continuously.
- Put the sauce back on low heat and stir until thickened and smooth, the consistency of cream.
- Remove from heat, add salt and pepper, and once it cools, beat the egg yolks and stir them in.
Make the macaroni:
- In salted water, cook the macaroni for half the time recommended on the packaging.
- Drain and coat with half the melted butter.
- Beat the egg whites until fluffy and stir into macaroni.
- Add half the grated cheese and toss.
- Lightly butter (or spray) an oven-proof casserole dish and put a thin layer of sauce on the bottom, sprinkle with a little cheese, add a layer of macaroni, sprinkle with cheese, and add a little sauce.
- Repeat until all macaroni is used, and pour the remaining sauce over the top.
- Sprinkle first with cheese, then breadcrumbs, and top off with remaining butter.
- Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot.