Four cheese macaroni cheese

Rich and creamy, this classic comfort food from Matt Tebbutt makes the perfect midweek indulgence
By Matt Tebbutt
Four cheese macaroni cheese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 500 g macaroni pasta
  • 50 g salted butter
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 1 litres warm milk
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 50 g parmesan, grated
  • 100 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 spring onions, sliced in half lengthways and chopped
  • 250 g semi-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 50 g dolcelatte, crumbled
  • 80 g Parma ham
  • 2-3 whole tomatoes, very thinly sliced into rounds
  • 50 g gruyère cheese, grated

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.

2. Cook the macaroni in a large pan of salted boiling water, according to packet instructions. Stir occasionally to make sure that the pasta doesnt stick. Cook until just tender, but not too soft, then drain well.

3. Melt the butter in a separate saucepan large enough to hold the cooked macaroni. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes over a medium heat, or until the mixture resembles ground almonds.

4. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the warm milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly to make a thin, smooth mixture.

5. Place the sauce back on the heat and heat up. Simmer the sauce over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously, or until thickened and smooth.

6. Add the cayenne, parmesan and cheddar, and stir until the cheese is melted and incorporated. Season with a little salt and pepper, as needed.

7. Add the cooked, drained pasta and mix well until the pasta is coated in the sauce. Stir in the spring onions and semi-dried tomatoes.

8. Spoon half the macaroni into a 1.2 litre pie/lasagne dish, spread to make an even layer, then dot over little pieces of the dolcelatte and lay the slices of parma ham over the top. Cover with the rest of the macaroni mixture. (The macaroni can be prepared to this stage and then chilled for up to one day ahead, if making in advance).

9. Arrange the tomato slices over the macaroni, then sprinkle with the gruyère. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes (or 30 minutes if the macaroni has been assembled in advance and chilled), or until the macaroni is piping hot all the way through.

10. Heat the grill to high, then grill the macaroni for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crisp.

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