Face it people, it’s freezing out there, and I need some full-fat, artery-clogging comfort food today!
This recipe is a celebration of some of the fine English cheeses available. I’ve adapted the recipe from The Smith Restaurant & Bar in NYC (if you want to try the original, click on the photo, also from their website)
Serves 8-ish, prep takes 30 minutes, baking takes 25 minutes
- 500g elbow macaroni, cavatappi or riccioli
- 60g butter
- 60g all purpose flour
- 350ml single cream
- 350ml milk (full-fat for best taste)
- 100g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
- 100g Red Leicester cheese (Farmhouse, if you can get it), grated
- 100g Gloucestershire cheese, grated
- 50g Cheshire cheese to crumble on top
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg (not essential)
Preheat oven to 200°C and place an oven-proof baking dish (or skillet) in it to warm up.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta to al dente (1 minute before they recommend on the packet). Strain & set aside.
While the pasta cooks, whisk butter and flour together over medium heat to make a light roux (use a large pot as you will add the cooked pasta as well). Add a pinch of nutmeg.
Mix milk & cream together and add to roux; whisk away lumps and stir until boiling. Add all cheeses except Cheshire & stir until the mixture is melted evenly and looks like gooey heaven.
Add the cooked pasta to the cheese mixture, season to taste with salt & black pepper.
Remove the (hot!) baking dish from the oven, spread butter/olive oil evenly around to coat the base & sides. Add the pasta cheese mixture to the baking dish, sprinkle the top with Cheshire cheese.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, until the top is brown. Serve immediately, eat slowly & don’t burn your mouth!