Friday, 22 March 2013

Macaroni Cheese

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
50g butter
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


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