If you’re anything like me and a massive fan of the Christmas cheeseboard, you might be a little bit prone to over-preparing when getting stocked up for the festive season! Mountains of cheese remain for nibbling – I tend to be able to see off the leftovers over the following week, but it’s always good to have a recipe or two to turn to.
This recipe for macaroni cheese is super simple to make (perfect after the kitchen chaos of Christmas) and appeals to the whole family. Gooey, comforting and cheesier than a festive film! It’s a great way to use up those odds and ends of cheese. Serve with some steamed broccoli or leftover Christmas veg, or even a fresh salad if you’re feeling in need of some vitamins.
Of course, this recipe isn’t just for Christmas, but it makes the perfect Boxing Day treat. It can be made up in advance and frozen before baking – just allow to defrost thoroughly before popping in the oven.
You will need:
- 350g elbow macaroni or pasta shapes
- 2tbsp butter
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 tsp mustard (powder works well too)
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 500ml milk
- 250g cheese, grated or crumbled – whatever you have to hand (cheddar, camembert and even blue cheese works well)
- 50g parmesan for topping, grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 50g leftover bread (French stick works best) for topping, optional
Let’s get started!
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas 6.
- Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions in salted water.
- Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Break the leftover bread into small chunks, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5/6 minutes until crisp. Leave to cool before breaking into breadcrumbs.
- Lower the heat on the oven to 180C/gas 4.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, and add the minced garlic. Stir thoroughly.
- Add the mustard or mustard powder and salt and pepper and stir through, cooking for 1 minute.
- Add the flour gradually, stirring to make a thick paste.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk little by little, whisking well in between each pour to make a smooth sauce.
- Return to a low heat and add the grated cheese gradually, stirring until melted.
- Add the pasta to the pan and fold into the sauce until thoroughly coated.
- Pour the mixture into a baking dish, crumble over the breadcrumbs and grated parmesan.
- Bake the macaroni cheese for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling, golden and smelling great.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.