Mac and Cheese with Crunch Topping

Giving the classic mac and cheese with a Ballymaloe twist! Plenty of creaminess for the cheese lover with a unquie take on comfort food.


400 dried Macaroni

300ml Whole milk

250ml Cream

200g white cheddar (grated)

75g Parmesan (finely grated)

1 garlic clove

100g Ballymaloe Original Relish

300g cooked ham (diced or shredded)

100g white breadcrumbs

50g butter

3 Tbs chives (finely chopped)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200⁰C (fan 180oC) or Gas Mark 6.
  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for 8/ 10 minutes until al dente (or according to pack instructions). Drain well.
  3. in the same saucepan add the milk, cream, Cheddar, Parmesan, garlic and salt & pepper to the pasta. Place on a medium heat to bring it to a simmer. Add back in the cooked pasta and stir continuously.
  4. Allow to simmer slightly for a few minutes to thicken before stirring in the ham. Transfer to a large baking dish or four individual ones.
  5. Dot your Ballymaloe Original Relish all over and swirl in a little, before setting aside.
  6. Mix the breadcrumbs, butter, Parmesan and two tablespoons of chives together in a small bowl and scatter them evenly over the top of the pasta.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the topping is golden and crunchy. Scatter over the remaining chives and serve straight away with a crisp green salad.