Laura Goodman Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Direct | Food

I’ve had a lot of macaroni and cheese. There are recipes that do things like use cottage cheese instead of sauce, insist that the cheddar needs help from obscure French friends, or allow just 37g of macaroni per person. For a classic mac and cheese you can trust, you need to stand over a large pot of béchamel and personally load it with cheddar cheese and a few key accessories.

Serves 5-6
macaroni 500g
unsalted butter 100 g, plus 3 tablespoons for the top
flat flour 75g
milk 1.2 liters
ripe cheddar cheese 275g, grated, plus 50g for the top
english mustard 1 tablespoon
nutmeg ½ teaspoon, freshly grated
breadcrumbs 50 grams
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C fan/gas mark 6 and bring a little salted water to a boil for the macaroni.

Cook the macaroni 2 minutes less than the package indicates, drain and set aside, reserving half a ladle of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the 100g butter over medium heat. When melted, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and beautifully beige. Add the milk a little at a time (about 100 ml at a time). It will take you on a complete journey, thickening before smoothing back down. All you have to do is keep stirring. Switch to a whisk if it helps. Once you’ve added all the milk, keep the sauce on the heat and stir in the cheese, then the mustard and nutmeg, then salt and pepper to taste.

Add the macaroni to the sauce, along with the pasta water, and stir until smooth. Tip this directly into a wide, shallow baking dish, using a flexible spatula to reach all of the sauce.

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Melt the extra butter and mix it with the extra cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this mixture over the macaroni and cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden all over.

Laura Goodman’s De Carbs (Quadrille, £15)

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