This cosy, flavoursome recipe will warm you up on even the coldest of winter nights
500g macaroni pasta
50g melted butter
3 tbsp plain flour
300g grated cheese (I use a mix of cheddar & red Leicester and include approx. 75g of fresh parmesan)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
½ unsliced sourdough loaf torn into crouton sized “breadcrumbs”
4 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped
3 – 4 Tablespoons Olive oil (heated and infused with a clove of crushed garlic)
Dried chilli flakes (optional)
Cook the pasta for 6 minutes (2 mins under what the recommended cooking time as you need to keep in mind that the pasta will continue to cook during the baking process)
To make the roux which will form the base of your cheese sauce, melt the butter and mix with the flour over low heat, stirring continuously until the mix turns a light toasty tan in colour.
Gradually add the milk, again, stirring constantly over low heat to ensure the sauce thickens.
Melt the cheese into the sauce and season with pepper and nutmeg
Toss the cooked pasta through the sauce and spoon into a baking dish (I use a lasagne dish)
Top with even more grated cheese
For the breadcrumb topping.
Tear your loaf into rustic breadcrumbs – I make mine approx. 1cm in size
Heat olive oil in a saucepan and infuse with a clove of crushed garlic (if you love garlic, add a second clove). This will just take a minute or 2 over a low heat.
Pour the oil over the breadcrumbs and toss.
Season with salt and pepper
Add fresh thyme and sprinkle ½ - 1 teaspoons of chilli flakes through the mix.
Spread the breadcrumbs over the top of your Macaroni mix and bake in an oven pre heated to 180 degrees (fan forced) for 15 – 20 mins (until the bread crumbs are golden brown)