With the cold weather continuing, a hearty winter warmer is in order, and as the king of all comfort foods, nothing beats a plate of macaroni cheese on a chilly evening. The combination of soft pasta and molten cheese topped with crunchy golden breadcrumbs really is a match made in heaven. As well as being ridiculously simple to make, this dish is also incredibly cheap, with most of the ingredients being store-cupboard staples. This quick, filling, economic and (most importantly) delicious supper is a firm favourite with us penniless students!
For 6 hungry guests you will need:
500g Macaroni or other pasta
2 tbsp plain flour
1/2 pint milk
2 tsp mustard powder
25og grated cheddar + 100g parmesan (plus extra of each to sprinkle on-top)
2 tomatoes - roughly chopped into large chunks
couple of handfuls of chopped ham ( I used leftovers from a glazed ham chopped into large chunks) or cooked pancetta
handful of breadcrumbs
You will need to:
- Boil pasta in salted water until al-denté, then drain and set aside.
- Spread chopped ham/pancetta and tomatoes across the bottom of a large oven-proof dish.
- In now-empty pasta pan, melt butter and stir in flour to make a paste. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Gradually add milk and whisk until smooth and the consistency of double cream - this will take about 10 mins.
- Add mustard powder, seasoning, and stir in the grated cheese. Return the cooked pasta to the pan and stir to coat with the smooth cheese sauce.
- Pour cheesy pasta into dish and spread over the ham and tomatoes. Sprinkle more cheese and the breadcrumbs on top.
- Bake in a hot oven for about 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and crispy.
- Serve with a simple, dressed green salad.
Enjoy! C x