Ultimate macaroni cheese

If you’re counting the calories then look away now! This recipe is sinfully indulgent and you’ll keep wanting to go back for more.

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Ingredients- serves 4
40g unsalted butter
40g plain flour
1\2 tsp mustard powder
250ml milk
250ml double cream
4 spring onions chopped
1 pack of cubetti di pancetta (approx. 100g)
200g dolcelatte
125g parmesan
Small ball of mozzarella diced
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200c/160 fan/ gas mark 6.

2.Simmer the macaroni in a large pan of water for 8- 10 minutes (or as per packaging instructions), drain well, return to the pan and set aside.

3. Gently fry off the pancetta cubes in a small pan over a medium heat until they begin to crisp- you do not need to add oil or butter when frying the pancetta. Next add the spring onion and continue to cook until the onions soften. Take tha pan off the heat and set aside.

4. Now it’s time to start preparing the sauce. Make sure all the ingredients are weighed and measured out before you begin as once the sauce gets going it will need your full attention to ensure it is nice and smooth- you don’t want any pesky lumps creeping in!

Take a small pan over a medium heat and add the butter, flour and pinch of mustard powder and cook until the butter melts. Mix the milk and cream and give it a good stir to combine them. Now for the delicate bit so listen up! You need to gradually add the milk and cream to the pan, whisking all the while. By keeping it moving you will end up with a silky smooth sauce. If, however, you find the odd lump then don’t panic and simply remove the pan from the heat and whisk vigorously until the lumps have disappeared.

5. After all the milk has been added turn up the heat to medium/ high and bubble until the sauce thickens.  Make sure the sauce doesn’t boil and stir occasionally to check that it hasn’t caught on the bottom of the pan. Once you are happy with the consistency take the pan off the heat and add in two thirds of the dolcelatte, two thirds of the parmesan and stir well. If you like a blue with a bit more bite and tang, a gorgonzola also works well here. Season well to taste.

6. Stir the sauce into the macaroni pasta which has been set aside and spoon into an ovenproof dish. I like using a Pyrex dish so you can see the cheese bubbling away! Take the remaining cheeses and dot on the top of the pasta. Bake in the oven for half an hour or until golden. Serve and watch everyone go back for seconds! You may like to serve a simple side salad or garlic bread. I like to roast a bulb of garlic and then combine this with softened unsalted butter so make a wickedly delicious garlic butter which you can then slather on a ciabatta before baking.

Next time you make this you may like to add some mozzarella through the pasta before baking or make a simple breadcrumb topping for a bit of added crunch. The macaroni also reheats well for a quick lunch the next day (if there’s any left!).

‘One more cheese shot’ I hear you cry! Oh go on then!

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