50g plain white flour
150 – 200g grated strong cheddar (or 150g cheddar and 25g parmesan)
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
1 tsp mustard
1 Tbs chopped parsley (optional)
50g fresh white bread crumbs
* you can use any pasta shape, try twists
- Preheat oven to a medium high temperature.
- Cook the macaroni as per instructions on pack. Make sure you only put the macaroni in the water when it is boiling.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, gently.
- Add the flour and mix well. Cook this gently for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring all the time, you do not want it to colour. This is called a roux.
- Gradually add the milk to this mixture. Stir between each addition and bring to a simmer before adding next lot of milk. If the mixture does go lumpy, whisk out the lumps.
- Once all milk has been added, remove from heat and add seasoning, mustard, ¾ of the cheddar and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Add the cooked pasta and transfer to oven proof dish. Top with remainder of grated cheddar (and bread crumbs if using) and place in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes, until the top is golden.
You can add loads of things to this:
Try mixing 2 Tbs of tomato ketchup when you add the cheese.
Put some sliced tomatoes on top of the macaroni and then finally add the grated cheese.
To the mixture add cooked bacon bits or ham, cooked broccoli or cauliflower florets, fried mushrooms, a tin of tuna, some tinned or frozen sweetcorn, courgettes, peppers ……….
The white sauce you have made for the macaroni cheese can be adapted to make a lasagne. Make the white sauce but do not add the cheese. Using the bolognaise sauce and some ready to use lasagne sheets assemble a lasagne – in an oven proof dish cover the bottom with a generous amount of white sauce, cover with lasagne sheets, pour bolognaise on top of this, layer again with lasagne sheet and cover with white sauce. You can add grated cheese at this stage if you like. Bake in a medium oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Serve with garlic bread – yum!