Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Chef's Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

 Chef's Macaroni and Cheese Photo : Karen E Photography

Chef's Macaroni and Cheese
Photo : Karen E Photography

Chef's Macaroni and Cheese

 Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

I lost count when it came to debates in our household over what ingredients made the best macaroni and cheese. To enhance the dish my mother always added extra ‘goodies’, whereas my maternal grandmother preferred to keep things simple. ‘Mothers always make it best’, I would hear my dad mumble to us girls as we tried to rev up our mother. My hope is that this book inspires readers to take the time to make a proper white/cheese/mornay sauce. With a little extra care a simple dish can be made simply delicious!

Makes 6 portions


  • 500g macaroni
  • 50ml fine salt
  • 5 litres water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped herbs or pesto to taste
  • 160g grated cheese
  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Sautéed bacon and onion
  • Sage, onion and chicken
  • A selection of herbs
  • Corn kernels and a little coconut cream
  • Tomato, basil and pine kernels


  1. Fill a large pot with water and salt (Use an average of 1 litre of water and 2 teaspoons salt to 100g of pasta. Pasta loves generous salting.)
  2. When water is boiling, add pasta and stir to prevent pasta sticking. Cook for about 10 minutes, until al dente. When the pasta is cooked, spoon the pasta out of the water with a slotted spoon and into a colander. Run cold water over the pasta. This prevents the pasta from sticking.
  3. Drizzle the pasta with olive oil and mix in freshly chopped herbs. I always add pesto or freshly chopped herbs to pasta to enhance the flavour. 
  4. Combine the pasta with a double quantity of Mornay sauce (page 30) in a deep ovenproof dish. Mix in optional extras now. Top with a layer of tomato slices and grated cheese.
  5. Bake at 180°C until the topping is melted and browned. Serve when hot.

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jackie Cameron
Hartford House, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
+27 33 263 2713