Macaroni Cheese

A real crowd pleaser on a cold day, one of the best things things about this dish is that it’s loved by young and old alike. Really easy to eat, it makes an ideal choice for a family lunch, especially if you’re having a casual fork buffet.

Serves: 4; Prep: 10 mins; Cook: 30 mins; Cost: £1.54; Cals per portion: 620

Ingredients: 300g/11oz macaroni; 40g/1 1/2oz butter; 40g/1 1/2oz flour; 600ml/1 pint creamy milk; 150g/5oz strong cheddar, grated

  • Preheat the oven to Mark 6/200oC/400oF. Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water for 10 mins and drain. Grease an ovenproof dish generously with some butter.
  • Now make white sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then remove it from the heat and stir in the flour – keep stirring until the mixture is completely smooth. Put the pan back on the heat and cook for a further 1-2 mins.
  • Gradually whisk in the pint of milk and cook the sauce, stirring all the time, until it has boiled. Stir the macaroni into the sauce with half of the grated cheddar, tip into the greased ovenproof dish and then sprinkle with the remaining cheddar. Bake for 15-20 mins until all the cheese has melted.

Tips: A great advantage to this dish is that it can be spiced up in so many ways – and again most of the ingredients will be close at hand. Fry an onion, mix into the cheese sauce and sprinkle with paprika and you’re well on the way to a real feast. To really go to town, fry bacon or chunks of pancetta and add to the sauce. Also try tinned tuna.

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