Monday night is regularly pasta bake night in our house, to the point that I have become predictable and Sam will even tell people we’re having pasta bake for dinner before even coming home.
Working in a catering environment I have noticed that Monday brings with it a certain pattern of food purchasing; the sale of greasy breakfasts go down and more people purchase salads than on any other day of the week. For many, a new week brings with it good intentions to eat well, be healthy and do good, however I tend to do the opposite. I get sad it’s no longer the weekend, usually don’t have very much in the fridge due to over-eating and therefore turn to the classic store-cupboard comfort food – pasta bake!
This mac and cheese recipe is not only delicious but it makes me incredibly happy!
For what its worth, I do tend to improve my diet as the week goes on when many other begin to give into temptations.
- 1 leek – finely sliced
- 1 onion – peeled and finely sliced
- small nob butter
- 70g salted butter
- 2 heaped dsp corn flour
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 heap tbsp. cream cheese
- 175 cheddar – grated
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 350g macaroni – cooked according to the pack instructions.
- 4 slices really chunky ham – cut into small chunks
- Black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180’C
Heat a frying pan to a low-medium temperature and gently fry the onion and the leeks with the butter until soft.
While they are cooking, make your béchamel by heating the 70g of butter and the cornflour in a saucepan, stirring to make a smooth paste.
Add a good splash of milk and whisk until in has combined with the paste and is no longer lumpy
Add the remaining milk and continue to stir until the mixture has thickened.
Once you have a consistency that coats the back of your spoon, turn off the heat and stir in the cream cheese and half of the grated cheese – continuing to stir until melted.
Add the mustard, ham and the leek mixture and stir into the pasta.
Tip the mixture into an oven-proof dish and top with the remaining cheese.
Give it a good twist of pepper before baking in the oven for 40 minutes until lovely and crisp
Serve with salad and garlic bread and enjoy!