Glammed Up Mac & Cheese

pmDSC_0027 DSC_0023 This dish is perfect for those chilly nights that are creeping in. We were trying to use up some bits left in the fridge at the end of the week – we had the end of a few different bits of cheese, a few rashers of bacon and a jar of artichokes! So we threw it all in and so was born this slightly glammed up version of Macaroni Cheese (except even the pasta is not macaroni….its Casaracce, but it works just as well!!) I have rounded up the ingredients slightly to make the dish for 4, as what we made was only enough for 2 hungry people or would have stretched to 3. We served with a simple green salad, red pepper and asparagus and light vinaigrette. ( Gotta do something to pretend you’re not only eating carbs, right?) Serves 4 Ingredients:

  • 60g butter
  • 200g artichoke hearts, roughly chopped (the jarred kind)
  • 6 rashers bacon, chopped (back or streaky will do)
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 600ml milk
  • 50g plain flour
  • 150 g hard cheese like cheddar/parmesan ( we used a mixture of wooky hole cheddar, worcestshire sauce flavoured cheddar and a hard ewes milk cheese)
  • 350g pasta cooked al dente (macaroni ideally, but we used casaracce which is also a thin tube like pasta)
  • salt and pepper to season

Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F 2. Add half the butter to a large frying pan and melt. 3. Add in the chopped bacon and fry until cooked through. Add the spring onion, garlic, shallot and artichokes and continue to fry until softened and just becoming golden. DSC_0015 4. Add the rest of the butter until melted 5. Add in the flour and stir vigourously and it will coat all the ingredients. 6. Slowly add in the milk bit by bit stirring continuously and you will notice it thickening up at a rapid pace. DSC_0017 7. When all the milk is added reduce the heat a litre, add the mustard and 2/3 of the cheese, stirring until dissolved. 8. Season to taste and then add in the cooked pasta and stir until all coated well 9. Transfer to an oven proof dish and bake for 15minutes DSC_0019 10. After 15 mins remove from oven, scatter over the remaining cheese and bake for a further 10-15mins until golden and bubbling.   Happy eating 🙂 DSC_0028 DSC_0024   DSC_0025

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