Cheat’s mac and cheese with caramelised tomatoes
Serves 2 | prep 10 mins | total time
- 6 medium vine tomatoes, halved
- 1⁄4 tsp caster sugar
- a few thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- 150g dried high fibre macaroni, or regular
- 150g young spinach
- 75g mature cheddar, grated - use vegetarian if required
- 4 tbsp Greek-style yogurt
- 1⁄4 tsp garlic granules, optional
- 15g Parmesan, grated - use vegetarian if required
- Preheat the grill to medium-high. Arrange the tomatoes on a lined tray, cut side up, and scatter with the sugar, seasoning and most of the thyme leaves. Grill for 10-15 minutes or until softened and starting to caramelise at the edges.
- Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a pan of salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Scoop out a cupful of water and reserve for the sauce. Stir the spinach in to the pan then drain into a colander as soon as it starts to wilt. Shake off the excess water and return the pasta and spinach to the pan.
- Off the heat, stir 3 tablespoons of the pasta water and the grated cheddar into the pan, until it starts to melt, then mix in the Greek yogurt and the garlic granules if using (these enhance the cheese flavour rather than being pungently garlicky). You should now have a creamy sauce consistency; if necessary, add a little more of the pasta water. Season to taste. Either spoon straight into pasta bowls and top with the Parmesan, or if you prefer, tip into a heatproof dish, scatter with Parmesan and grill until golden.
- Scatter with more thyme leaves and serve with the caramelised tomatoes.