Gulf News 'Your Ramadan Table' food show: Baked mac and cheese with prawns

Gulf News 'Your Ramadan Table' food show: Baked mac and cheese with prawns

Chef John Buenaventura has a comforting recipe that is perfect for cheese lovers

Video Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/ Gulf News

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2 to 3


300 gms Macaroni

50 gms Emmental cheese (grated)

50 gms Smoked cheddar cheese (grated)

50 gms Mozzarella cheese (grated)

3 gms Nutmeg powder

600 ml Milk

100 gms Prawns

10 gms Garlic

2 tbsp All-purpose flour

5 gms Chives

50 gms Butter

1 tbsp Truffle paste

30 gms Panko bread crumbs

Pepper to taste

Salt to taste


To cook the pasta, start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Then, strain the pasta and set it aside.

To make the roux, melt butter in a large saucepan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk and mix to dissolve the flour into the milk. Then add the remaining milk and mix until the mixture is lump-free. Add a pinch or two of nutmeg powder. Cook, stirring or whisking regularly, for 5 to 8 minutes until the mixture thickens to a creamy consistency. Set it aside to cool.

In a bowl, marinate the prawns with two tablespoons of olive oil, chopped garlic, salt, and black pepper. Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, lightly sear the prawns in a pan over a medium flame. Add a sprig of thyme and sauté. Once done, chop the prawns and set them aside. Be careful not to overcook the prawns, as they will be baked later in the oven, along with the pasta.

Now, to the sauce, add grated cheddar cheese, mozzarella, and Emmental cheese. Reserve some for later use. Combine well and add salt if necessary. If the sauce is too thick, add milk to adjust the consistency.

In a bowl, combine the cooked pasta with the sauce, then add the chopped prawns and a generous amount of truffle paste and mix well.

Place the macaroni in an iron skillet or glass tray and top it with grated cheese, chopped leftover prawns, and panko breadcrumbs. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top.

Preheat the oven to 170°C for 10 to 15 minutes. Once done, serve hot with chopped chives on top.


Ensure to cook the flour while making the roux to avoid a grainy, uncooked taste.

Adjust the salt to taste. If you use the cheeses mentioned above, you won't need to add more.

Hey there, cheese lovers! I've got a mouthwatering recipe for you that's dedicated to all of you. Picture this: Succulent prawns added to a dish bursting with cheesy goodness. If you're feeling fancy, swap those prawns for lobster. Trust me, this recipe is a hit with both kids and adults. Don't miss out on trying this at home!

- Chef John Buenaventura, Executive Chef and Host of Your Ramadan Table by Gulf News

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