Truffled Macaroni and Smoked Haddock Bake

Truffled Macaroni and Smoked Haddock BakeFrom this month’s BBC Good Food Magazine, I made this delicious Truffled Macaroni and smoked Haddock Bake and it gets two big thumbs up from me. Submitted to the magazine by John Torode, he writes that pasta bakes are not his cup of tea except for Mac and Cheese so he decided to merge his favourite Truffled Mac and Cheese with a pasta bake replacing its tinned tuna with this gorgeous smoked haddock.

As tasty as this is, I have to say that there are a few processes to it. Make the breadcrumbs, boil the macaroni, poach the fish, make the roux, combine everything then bake. For anyone who isn’t in the habit of filming everything he cooks with one camera, you could probably do two or more of these processes at once. I guess macaroni will cook happily on the literal back burner. Even with all these processes and the piles of washing up that that entailed, this dish has one more than welcome saving grace – it can be made in advance! The recipe says up to a few days in advance, which I think might be a bit much, but what do I know? A self-proclaimed rookie cook isn’t going to tell BBC Good Food what to do! Either way, whether you make it a few hours ahead, a day or a few days, the washing up will be long done and calm will be restored, very important if having guests! Just make sure to only go as far as assembling the dish but don’t bake in advance. Just cover with cling film and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.

Truffled Macaroni and Smoked Haddock Bake

Ingredients

    For the Breadcrumbs:
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • leaves from a small bunch of tarragon
  • leaves from a small bunch of parsley
  • leaves from 1 or 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 knob of butter
  • a small drizzle of truffle oil
  • For the Macaroni:
  • 250g macaroni
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 300g smoked haddock
  • 1tbsp truffle oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 100g gruyere, grated
  • 50g butter, plus more for greasing
  • 25g plain flour

Instructions

    For the Breadcrumbs:
  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blitz until incorporated. Then set aside until later.
  2. For the Macaroni:
  3. Boil the pasta in salted water for 1 minute less than the packet instructions say. Then strain it, add in to a large bowl, add the olive oil and mix. Then set aside until later.
  4. Add the milk, onion and haddock to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes before removing the fish and flaking it with 2 forks.
  5. Then drizzle 1 tablespoon of truffle oil over it and set it aside.
  6. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and whisk in the flour to make a paste. Cook for a further 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
  7. Whisk in the milk and onion the haddock was poaching in until it's thick.
  8. Whisk in half the cheese and add in the cooked pasta and mix well.
  9. Fold in the flaked haddock.
  10. Grease an ovenproof dish with a little butter before pouring in the pasta mixture.
  11. Scatter over the remaining cheese and most of the breadcrumbs.
  12. Bake now in a preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius for 20 minutes or cover it with cling film and store it in the fridge until you want to bake it later.
  13. After 20 minutes, scatter over the remaining breadcrumbs and bake for another 5 minutes.
  14. Then take it out, give it another tiny drizzle of truffle oil and serve.
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