Friday, 4 September 2009

Leek and Pasta Cheese

 
A simple variation on macaroni and cheese; the addition of leeks adds a new flavor and texture that was worth recording.

Ingredients:



  • 2 leeks, trimmed to remove root end and thick leaves, thinly sliced

  • 25g butter

  • 2 slices of old stale bread, blended/grated to breadcrumbs

  • 1 tsp mustard powder

  • 25g cheddar cheese, finely grated

  • 2 pint (1 litre) milk

  • 1 tbsp mustard powder

  • 4 tbsp plain flour

  • 15g butter

  • pinch of salt and pepper

  • 400g pasta, any shape

  • 175g cheddar cheese, coarsely grated


 

Method:



  1. Add the leeks and butter to a large pan and put on a medium heat. Cover with a lid and leave for 15 minutes, stiring every-so-often.

  2. Put on a large pan of well salted water to boil for the pasta.

  3. While the leeks cook and the pasta water heats up, mix the breadcrumbs, 1 tsp mustard powder and finely grated cheese together on a plate.

  4. Once the leeks are done transfer them to a bowl and place the milk, 1 tbsp mustard powder, butter, flour and salt and pepper in the pan the leeks were in.

  5. Bring the milk mixture to the boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly. As it heats up from cold milk the flour will slowly dissolve and you shouldn't get any lumps. If you do get lumps, don't worry about it, the pasta will hide them.

  6. Once the milk mixture has started to thicken turn the heat right down and let it simmer gently.

  7. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as instructed.

  8. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and put it to one side.

  9. Mix the coarse grated cheese into the milk mixture and stir well until dissolved.

  10. Once all the cheese is dissolved, add the pasta and stir well.

  11. Next spread the leeks out on top of the pasta and milk mixture, but don't mix them through the pasta.

  12. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the leeks and press gently down.

  13. Place the whole pan under a hot grill (careful not to melt the handle if it's plastic) until it starts to brown.

  14. Serve straight from the pan.


 
Serves 4.

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