In Greek: μακαρόνια ογκρατέν, pronounced mah-kah-ROHN-yah oh-grah-TEN
Macaroni and cheese is a favorite 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.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
- 1 pound of macaroni pasta (or long ziti)
- 1 1/4 cup of grated kefalotyri (or pecorino, or regato, or other sharp white cheese)
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup of melted butter
- 6 tablespoons of butter
- 7-8 tablespoons of flour
- 3 1/2 cups of whole milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup of toasted breadcrumbs
Make the sauce: In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. As soon as it melts, add 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.
Preheat oven to 390F (200C).
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 in 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.