Mac n’ Cheese
8 oz smallish pasta, I used Cavatappi ( tube shaped like corkscrew)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
10 oz grated cheese (cheddar, parmesan, blue)
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
Hot sauce optional
A handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup chopped parsley and/or chives
1 cup fresh coarse breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Melt butter in a 4 cup saucepan, add flour and cook, stirring for about 3-4 minutes.
Add the milk and cook, stirring until the milk begins to thicken.
Add 3/4 of the cheese and cook gently until the cheese melts.
Season with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg.
Add a couple of drops of hot sauce if you wish. Remove from heat and set aside, keeping it warm.
Heat olive oil in a skillet, add bread crumbs, salt and pepper and cook until they begin to turn golden and have absorbed the olive oil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt.
Drip the pasta into the boiling water, adjust to a steady boil and cook the pasta about half way through. the pasta will continue to cook in the oven so you don’t want it fully cooked now.
When the pasta is ready drain, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid.
Return the pasta to the pot and add the cheese sauce, remaining grated cheese and 2/3 of the parsley/chives. Stir to mix, cover the pot and let it sit for 3-4 minutes so the pasta begins to absorb the sauce.
When ready, transfer the pasta to a shallow baking dish (you want a lot of top surface for the crumb mixture) and add the sliced tomatoes, stirring them though the pasta.
Spoon the bread crumbs over the pasta, distributing them evenly.
Bake in a preheated 400F oven until the crumbs are crisp and golden and the pasta is nice and hot, about 7-10 minutes.