This is great comfort food, and you can add your own twist.
- 300 g dried macaroni
- 1 tbsp medium onion, peeled and very finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 60 g butter, softened
- 50 g plain flour
- 1 milk
- 200 g strong Cheddar cheese, grated
- pinch or two of nutmeg
- 1½ tbsp English mustard, level
- 1½ vegetable stock cubes, (15g)
- 4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- freshly milled black pepper
- 4 slices white bread, crusts removed and made into crumbs
- Cook the macaroni in plenty of boiling water until just cooked, drain well, add a tbsp oil to stop the pasta from sticking together.
- Warm the olive oil and add the onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften.
- Add the milk and the stock cube, bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, mix the butter and flour to form a paste.
- Once the milk is boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer, whisk in the butter and flour mixture, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Take off the heat and stir in 175g of the cheese and the cooked macaroni.
- Add a pinch or two of nutmeg, mustard, pepper, salt and the chopped basil.
- Spoon into an ovenproof dish, top with the 25g grated Cheddar and the breadcrumbs, brown under a hot grill or in the oven for about 10 minutes.
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