Two unrelated things, one of which is macaroni cheese

Thing 1: I came across this in a paper I was reading a while ago, and it’s too hilarious not to post. Gotta love academic name-calling!

“Untidily printed” – imagine!

(It’s from Malkiel’s ‘Toward a reconsideration of the Old Spanish imperfect in -ía ~ -ié‘, 1959, Hispanic Review)

Thing 2: Macaroni cheese. It is an amazing comfort food, and so often just what I fancy at uni when I have essays and deadlines coming out of my ears. I tended to associate it with a lot of faff and loads of washing up, so I’d never tried making it before but spotted a recipe for easy white sauce on the side of the flour packet. It turns out you can make it with just sauce flour and milk, so no faffing about with the roux (probably the rest of the world already knew this, but I’d never heard of it), and I grill it in the bowl to minimise washing up! This only took me about 20 or 25 minutes start to finish, definitely one to repeat!

Ingredients (per portion):

50-75g pasta

200ml milk

1 desertspoon sauce flour

A handful of grated cheese – the stronger the cheese, the less you need

Optionally, frozen peas or other vegetables

– Place the milk and sauce flour in a small saucepan over a low heat, and give it a quick stir (with a whisk).

– In another pan, boil some water for the pasta, and when it is boiling add the pasta and peas (if using). Bring to the boil, then simmer for however long the pasta packet says (about 8-10 minutes)

– Meanwhile, keep stirring the milk. It will probably take longer to boil than the pasta takes to cook, so drain the pasta when it is ready and put it in your bowl.

– When the milk comes to the boil, time it for 3 minutes and stir it constantly until it has thickened. This is probably the time to preheat the grill.

– Take the sauce off the heat and add half the cheese, stirring it in until it melts.

– Pour the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Grill for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.

Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach stew

I created this to use up some sweet potatoes and couscous I had left over, and I’m not really sure what to call it – I’ve gone for ‘stew’ but someone walked in just when I was finishing and said, “Oh, a tagine!” so who knows…

This was before I added the spinach…

Ingredients (2 portions):


1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed

2 tsp cumin seeds; if I made this again I think a little cinamon would work well, but I didn’t have any to hand

1 sweet potato, chopped into cubes of roughly 1cm

Half a can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 can tomatoes

A small handful of raisins

A handful of spinach

– Heat the oil in a small saucepan, and fry the onion and cumin, adding the garlic once the onion is nearly softened.

– Once the onion is softened, add the sweet potato, chickpeas and tomatoes.

– Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the sweet potato is cooked, around 25-30 minutes.

– Stir in the raisins and add the spinach – don’t stir it in, just leave it on top, cover, and let it wilt for 3-4 minutes.

– Serve with couscous.

Tuna and olive pasta

This is another really easy one, which can be made in no longer than it takes to cook a pan of pasta!

Ingredients (2 portions):

2 portions of pasta (150-200g)

A little butter and olive oil

A clove of garlic, finely chopped

Half a can of tuna

Half a small can of olives, halved

1 tsp lemon juice


– Put the pasta on to boil.

– When the pasta has about 5 minutes left, heat the butter and olive oil over a low/medium heat in a frying pan and, once the butter has melted, add the garlic.

– Once the garlic begins to colour, add the tuna.

– For the last minute or so of the pasta’s cooking time, add the olives and lemon juice.

– Once the pasta is ready, drain it, return to the pan and add the contents of the frying pan. Stir to mix, and serve.