Grilled Macaroni Cheese with Bacon

cook 20 mins
  • 300 g (10 oz) macaroni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 150 g (5 oz) smoked streaky bacon, chopped
  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz) milk
  • 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 150 g (5 oz) medium or mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 8–10 minutes, or according to packet instructions, until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the bacon for 3–4 minutes, until cooked and lightly golden. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3–4 minutes, until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Pour the milk into a saucepan with the flour and butter, and cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and simmering gently. Cook for 2–3 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in half the grated cheese.
  • Drain the pasta and combine with the cheese sauce, bacon and mushrooms. Add the nutmeg, if using, and season with black pepper. Tip into a large ovenproof dish, scatter over the remaining cheese and cook under a preheated grill for 5–6 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.
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