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February 22, 2010

Macaroni cheese

Woke up in the dark and returned home in the dark after work and so I seriously needed an easy cheesy feast to lift my spirits.

I knew where to head to – DELIA SMITH! She’s THE queen of back to basics and no nonsense cooking, kind of like the Martha Stewart of England. Picked out her souffled macaroni cheese recipe from How to cook book one but omitted eggs as didn’t have any in my fridge. Wanted it to taste more extreme so added bacon to satisfy the hole in my stomach. Delia says that it should be the best macaroni cheese ever and for me it was!! It was creamy, oozing with cheese and salty with an unexpected sweet taste which was probably from the mascarpone and onion. My housemate told me it was the best macaroni cheese he had tried in England! Needless to say I pigged out and lay down to rest very content on my bed…

Macaroni Cheese

Serves 2

175 g (6 oz) macaroni

75 g (3 oz) mascarpone

50 g (2 oz) Gruyere cheese, finely grated

50 g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 rashers unsmoked bacon

25 g (1 oz) plain flour

275 mL (10 fl oz) milk

1/4 whole nutmeg, finely grated

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6, 200 degrees Celcius.
  2. Fry the bacon pieces in a saucepan until browned, then add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the bacon and onion and mix quickly.
  4. Add the milk gradually and stir quickly to produce a smooth sauce.
  5. Add the nutmeg, stir, season and cook gently for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile boil salted water, add the pasta and cook until al dente and drain.
  7. Take the saucepan of sauce, bacon and onion off the heat, add the mascarpone, mix, then add the gruyere and half of the parmesan and mix again.
  8. Place a buttered baking dish 8 x 6 in (20 x 15 cm) and 2 in (5 cm) deep in the oven to warm up.
  9. Add the pasta into the sauce mix and stir so that the pasta is completely covered by the sauce.
  10. Take the baking dish out of the oven, pour the pasta mix into the dish, sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top and return to the oven.
  11. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

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