Lunch time

Pasta and cheese

This is one of my favourites, really quick and easy, it’s my go to whenever I want something quick and cheesy. I have been making it since I was little and Mum could trust me in the kitchen. It was one of the first recipes I learnt. The good thing about this sauce is it’s very versatile and can be used for anything requiring a cheese sauce, for example lasagne – a great one to learn and keep in your arsenal. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Ingredients

150g pasta – this can be whatever shape you want, I haven’t found a pasta this doesn’t work with.

25g butter or margarine

1 x tbs (tablespoon) flour – again can be any except cornflour

1 x tsp (teaspoon) mustard – again can be any, grainy mustard works well, and horseradish. I’m using 1/2 tsp mustard powder in this recipe as it has a stronger taste

150ml milk – I use skimmed but full fat will give you a creamier flavour.

100g grated cheese – I normally use cheddar, but I have a lot of Christmas cheeses left over so will be using Cheddar, Red Leicester, and Boursin

Method

Firstly put a pan on to boil with plenty of water, and cook pasta according to pack instructions.

While that’s cooking heat a small pan and gently melt the butter. Once melted, add flour and mustard, and stir making a thick paste.

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Keep stirring while adding the milk slowly until it starts looking like a thick sauce.

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Once it looks like this add the rest of the milk, cook on a low heat and stir the sauce continually until the pasta is cooked (about 8 minutes. Cooking out the sauce will prevent it tasting floury). The sauce should now be thick and creamy looking.

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Add all of the cheese to the sauce and stir until melted, then season to taste – do not add salt until you’ve added the cheese as cheese is very salty anyway. I find I don’t need to add any to this mix but I do add quite a lot of black pepper.

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Quickly drain the pasta and then immediately add it to the sauce and give it a good stir. At this point you can put it into an oven proof dish, cover in bread crumbs and put it under the grill until golden. I am too impatient and will eat this as it is, delicious!

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You can make this in advance for a delicious packed lunch – simply microwave for 2 mins with a splash of water, stir and enjoy (make sure food is piping hot before eating)

Serves 2

cal 451 – fat 8.8 – carbs 63.5 – protein 12.3

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