Back in early March, I went to Barbados to cover their big horse race, the Barbados Gold Cup. While I was there, I got to try Bajan Mac and Cheese, which the locals call Macaroni Pie. This is a popular dish all over the Caribbean, with each island having their own variations. After going through several recipes, I have finally put together one that tastes and looks pretty much like what I had there. It is very cheesy, delicious, and a bit spicy. A few of the ingredients might be a bit hard to find, but I finally tracked everything down in our local asian supermarkets. The hardest to find is the correct noodles, a long macaroni. It is similar to spaghetti, but hollow like macaroni. The one to the left was the closest match but if you can find Bucatini in your grocer’s pasta section, that is close although a bit narrower. I found that at a couple of larger markets with good international sections. The other two items you may have trouble finding are Bajan pepper sauce and Bajan seasoning. The links will show you what to look for or order it from. I found both of these locally in the Toronto area in Blue Sky Market which has a really good Caribbean spice and condiment section
Here is the recipe I put together if you want to try it yourself.
Boil salted water with a teaspoon of thyme added, then add the package of noodles, breaking them into thirds as you add. (Note that recipes from some islands don’t break the noodles, but all the Bajan ones did.) They are quite stiff so you will have to break them in small bunches. The pasta I used needed to cook for 12 minutes, but follow your package directions for cooking time. Drain the noodles and set aside.
Grate a small onion and chop 2 cloves of garlic. Grate 4 cups medium cheddar
cheese. Preheat oven to 350.
Make a roux with 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of butter, cook to golden in pasta pot. Add 1 can evaporated milk and stir well. Add 2 tablespoons of regular yellow mustard and 1/4 cup of ketchup and stir well. Add the onion and garlic and stir well. Add the grated cheese and stir until melted. Add 1 tablespoon of Bajan seasoning and a good squirt of Bajan hot sauce and stir. Add the pasta and mix well. Beat 2 eggs and stir into pasta mix.
Grease a pan and pour in the pasta and sauce mix. Grate a little more cheese and mix with
some bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of the pasta. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top.