Blue cheese macaroni

A walnut crust and blue cheese sauce brings sophistication to Aaron Crazes version of a popular supper dish
By Aaron Craze
Blue cheese macaroni
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 500 g macaroni
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 1 litres milk, heated until warm
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 100 g blue cheese, crumbled, such as John Bournes new blue cheese
  • 50 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 50 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 50 g walnuts, toasted
  • 50 g parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • green salad, or watercress to serve

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

2. Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for about 6 minutes until al dente, or according to packet instructions. Stir occasionally to make sure that the pasta doesnt stick.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate saucepan large enough to hold the cooked macaroni. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes over a medium heat, or until the mixture resembles ground almonds. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the warm milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly to make a thin, smooth mixture. Return to the heat and cook, stirring all the time, until thickened.

4. Take off the heat, add the cayenne, blue cheese and cheddar and stir until the cheese has melted and you have a smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

5. Using a colander or sieve, drain the macaroni into a large saucepan and stir in the sauce. Mix well, then spoon it into a 1.2 litre ovenproof dish, spreading into an even layer.

6. Put the breadcrumbs, walnuts, parmesan and parsley into a food processor and blitz until blended but not too fine. Sprinkle the nutty breadcrumb mix on top of the macaroni.

7. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the macaroni is piping hot all the way through. Heat the grill to high, then grill the pasta for 5-10 minutes, or until the crust is golden and crisp. Serve with a green salad or watercress.

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