This is an ‘all-in-one’ dish incorporating some green vegetables. I also decided to add more flavour by using bechamel sauce as the basis for the cheese sauce (although, on reflection, I’m not sure it made a great deal of difference). Enough for 2:
For the cheese sauce (infuse the milk by microwaving the milk and the next six ingredients (down to, and including, black pepper) for about 6 minutes at 750W, and leave to stand (for at least 30 minutes)):
- 600ml milk
- A large sprig of parsley
- 3 sprigs of thyme (or dried equivalent)
- A few slices of onion (I used some ‘past their best’ spring onions (chopped))
- 1 clove of garlic (halved)
- A small piece of nutmeg (crushed)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 50g butter
- 2 heaped tbsp plain flour
- 100g grated cheddar
For the rest:
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 leeks (the white parts – thinly sliced (the rest could be used to make stock))
- 3 handfuls of macaroni (or another ‘tube’ pasta (eg penne, tubetti – I used amori) cooked according the instructions on the packet)
- A sprinkling of dried breadcrumbs
- A little grated parmesan
Gently cook the leeks in the oil in a saucepan for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the pasta and make the cheese sauce (see: Cauliflower Cheese).
Stir the leeks and the drained pasta into the cheese sauce. Pour into a shallow ovenproof dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs and grated parmesan over the top.
Cook in the oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4) for 30 minutes (longer if the have made the meal in advance).