Macaroni, bolognese and cheese

Adam Liaw
Leftover pasta: Macaroni, bolognese and cheese.
Leftover pasta: Macaroni, bolognese and cheese. Photo: Edwina Pickles

It is a sad state of leftover pasta affairs when there is not enough sauce remaining to recreate a complete meal. The brilliant thing about this recipe is that the sauce is just an extra flavouring, so it doesn't matter how much you have.


5-6 cups leftover cooked pasta (short pasta works well, or cut long pasta into 10cm lengths)

leftover bolognese sauce (ideally 2 cups, but any amount is fine)

1 cup grated gruyere, or cheddar

Cheese sauce

1/2 onion, studded with 6 cloves

1 bay leaf

500ml full cream milk

75g butter

2 tbsp plain flour

a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg

2 cups grated gruyere, or cheddar


1. To make the cheese sauce, place the onion, bay leaf and milk in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. (Watch it carefully as it can easily boil over.) Remove from the heat.

2. Heat the butter and flour in another small saucepan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk until it starts to foam. Add the milk (discarding the onion and bay leaf) gradually, stirring constantly to remove any lumps. Continue to cook for about five minutes, stirring until a thick sauce is produced. Remove from the heat, add a pinch of nutmeg and stir through the grated cheese. Season to taste.

3. Heat your overhead grill to very hot. In ramekins or a casserole dish spread the bolognese sauce over the base of the dish. Mix the pasta through the warm cheese sauce and pour over the base. Scatter the top of the pasta with more cheese and grill for 10 minutes until the cheese is browned.

3. Rest the macaroni cheese for five minutes before serving with a simple salad.

  •   More recipes to use up leftovers including stale bread, excess fruit, sour milk, leftover meat, pasta and rice here