Substantial and very nourishing, this crisply topped supper dish is sure to become a firm favourite.
Macaroni Cheese has been popular family fare since Victorian times, when it was fashionable to give a British slant to traditional Italian dishes. This modern version uses British Red Leicester cheese, wholewheat pasta, and broccoli. If you have never used wholewheat pasta before you will find the flavour stronger and nuttier than the plain kind.
75 g (3 oz) wholewheat macaroni
salt and pepper
25 g (1 oz) butter
25 g (1 oz) plain flour
300 ml (1/2 pint) fresh milk
75 g (3 oz) Red Leicester cheese, grated
100 g (4 oz) broccoli florets
15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
1. Cook the macaroni in 1.1 litres (2 pints) boiling salted water for 15 minutes. Drain.
2. Put the butter, flour and milk in a saucepan. Heat, whisking continuously, until the sauce boils, thickens and is smooth. Simmer for 1 - 2 minutes.
3. Remove pan from the heat, add most of the cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste.
4. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 7 minutes or until tender. Drain well.
5. Put the broccoli in the base of a 900 ml (1 1/2 pint) flameproof serving dish. Cover with the macaroni and cheese sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Brown under a hot grill.