Cheddar and Bacon Macaroni

1 hr 8

Ingredients

  • sea salt
    freshly ground black pepper
    45g butter
    3 heaped tablespoons of plain flour
    10 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
    a few bay leaves
    1 litre semi-skimmed milk
    600g macaroni
    8 plump tomatoes
    150g finely grated Belton Farm Cheddar
    100g finely grated Parmesan
    a few sprigs of fresh thyme with the leaves picked
    2 splashes Worcestershire sauce
    3 generous handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs
    6 cooked, chopped rashers of bacon

The Cheese

cheddar-cheese

Cheddar

Method

  1. Put a pan of salted water on the boil. Melt butter over a low heat and add the flour, stirring and slowly turning the heat up until you get a paste.

  2. Add the sliced garlic and keep stirring until the paste is golden and sticky. Add bay leaves then whisk in the milk until you’re left with a smooth sauce. Bring the sauce up to the boil and then leave to simmer. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas mark 7.

  3. Add the pasta and cook to the instructions on the packet. Drain once cooked to your liking and add immediately to the simmering sauce. After a good stir, take the pan off the heat and add in the grated Cheddar, Parmesan, bacon, tomatoes, thyme leaves and a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce.

  4. Stir and season to your satisfaction, then top with breadcrumbs and a few drizzles of olive oil before transferring to a deep casserole or earthenware dish. Bake until golden, bubbling and crispy, then serve with a crisp green salad.