Trinbagonian Macaroni Pie

As some of you know, I recently returned from a 15-day trip in the Eastern Caribbean. I spent one week in Trinidad and one week in St. Lucia. Both islands captivated me in very different ways, although I have to say when it comes to food, Trinidad was the most impressive. Honestly, Trini food is probably the best food I have ever had. Trinidad is a very racially, ethnically and religiously diverse country, and this diversity is reflected in the food. When I perfect the arts of buss up shut, curry mango, baijan choka, and doubles I will be posting those recipes, as well. However, in the meantime, here is a recipe for a very simple, delicious Trini meal: Macaroni Pie. It is kind of like a baked macaroni and cheese, but not quite as cheesy and has more of the consistency of a casserole. This meal is heavy on the dairy, so if you are lactose intolerant either be prepared to be uncomfortable for the rest of the night or just pass on this one. Haha. You will need:

-1 casserole dish

-1 pack of macaroni – I use the long macaroni pasta but I am sure you can use any variety you want

-1 can evaporated milk – not as common as the condensed milk. If you use condensed milk, do NOT use the sweetened one, that would turn out really weird and probably not good.

-1 egg

½ carrot

½ to 1 250-gram block of anchor cheddar cheese

-oregano

-pasta sauce or ketchup (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven, probably to medium or medium-high heat. Boil the macaroni according to the package instructions. When it is finished, drain out the water and put into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Grate the cheese and carrot.
  3. Mix the egg and the evaporated milk into the pasta. When it is well mix, gradually mix in the cheese and carrot, stirring constantly until everything is well mixed. Pour mixture into casserole dish.
  4. Grate some more cheese, enough to cover the top of the pie. Sprinkle oregano on top. Put in the oven.
  5. The pie is finished when the top is brown. After you take it out of the oven, allow it to cool for some time, because if you cut it right away it will not hold together.
  6. If it tastes bland, experiment with whatever seasonings you want – black pepper, paprika, cayenne, etc. A lot of people eat it with ketchup. I don’t like ketchup, but it is yummy with pasta sauce. If you like spice, a little bit of pepper sauce is tasty as well.
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