This macaroni cheese is ideal for a filling snack or for a supper served with a salad. The bacon really adds some additional flavour to the sauce and it has a crunchy, cheesy breadcrumb topping.
Macaroni Cheese with Bacon
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 225 g (8 oz) macaroni
- 110 g (4 oz) cheddar cheese, grated
- 850 ml (1½ pints) milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 70 g (2½ oz) butter
- 70 g (2½ oz) flour
- 6 slices smoked streaky bacon/side bacon
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 handfuls fresh white breadcrumbs
- 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
- A 2 litre (3½ pint) ovenproof dish
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
- Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water for 1 minute less than recommended on the packet of the brand you are using. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, pour the milk into a pan and add the bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat.
- In a separate pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until there is a smooth paste (a roux).
- Remove the bay leaves from the milk, then gradually add the milk to the roux, stirring constantly, until blended and smooth. Simmer to thicken to a double/whipping cream consistency. Remove from the heat.
- Grill the bacon until just crispy. Let it cool a little then cut into small pieces.
- Stir the pasta, bacon, cheddar and mustard into the sauce and add the pepper.
- Spoon into the ovenproof dish. No need to smooth the top.
- Toss the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together. Scatter over the top, completely covering the macaroni cheese mixture. Bake for 40 minutes until the top starts to brown.