Pasta au gratin

Classical French recipe.

Ingredients

  • 110 g macaroni
  • 50 g butter
  • 40 g plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¾ pint (450 ml) milk
  • 175 g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • A little freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • Smoked ham
  • 50 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tomato, cut into small pieces
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • Chives
  • Garlic

Preparation

Bring 850 ml water to the boil in a large pan with 1 teaspoon salt, add the macaroni and boil without a lid, according to the instructions on the packet.

Meanwhile, melt 50 g of butter in a saucepan, add the flour and mustard, and make up a white sauce with the milk, cooking for about 6 minutes before adding 75 g of the grated cheese to melt gently into it, together with a seasoning of salt and pepper and a few gratings of nutmeg.

Then in a little butter in a small frying pan, soften the onion, bacon and mushrooms together for about 6 minutes. Now drain the macaroni in a colander, combine it with the sauce and the bacon, onion and mushroom, then place the whole mixture in a buttered 2 pint (1.2 litre) baking dish.

Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top, plus the pieces of tomato. Finish off by placing the dish under a hot grill until golden brown and bubbling. Note: if you want to make this in advance, you can reheat it in a high oven, gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C) for about 15-20 minutes.

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