Delia

Macaroni Cheese with Courgettes and Bacon

I like this made with penne, but wholewheat macaroni makes a good alternative. 


The courgettes can be replaced with leeks, broad beans or broccoli sprigs and, for a vegetarian, in addition to these the bacon can be replaced by mushrooms, also please see Bookhams for a Parmesan-style vegetarian cheese


Serves 1

This recipe is from Delia Smith's One is Fun!


Macaroni Cheese with Courgettes and Bacon
Ingredients
 2-3 oz (50-75 g) macaroni
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 4 oz (110 g) courgettes, sliced with their skins on (not too thinly)
 2 oz (50 g) bacon, chopped
 salt
For the sauce:
 ½ oz (10 g) butter
 ½ oz (10 g) flour
 5 fl oz (150 ml) milk
 1½ oz (40 g) grated Cheddar cheese
 freshly grated nutmeg
 1 fl oz (25 ml) double cream
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the topping:
 1 level tablespoon Parmesan cheese (vegetarians see intro)
 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
 1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper
 1 tomato, sliced
Equipment
You will also need a 6 inch (15 cm) shallow gratin dish.

Method

Start off by bringing a panful of water to the boil, then add the macaroni together with some salt and a few drops of oil. Bring back to the boil then cook for 10 minutes.

While that's happening, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying-pan and, over a medium heat, cook the courgettes and chopped bacon in it to soften and colour the courgettes. 


At the same time, in a separate pan melt the butter for the sauce and stir in the flour, then add the milk bit by bit, stirring until you have a smooth sauce. Now leave it to cook gently for 4-5 minutes, then stir in the grated cheese, a seasoning of salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg, and finally the cream. 

When the macaroni is ready, drain it in a colander, then return it to the hot saucepan, along with the courgettes and bacon. Pour in the sauce then stir to amalgamate everything well over a gentle heat, until it's all reheated. 

Then transfer the pasta mixture to the gratin dish, mix the Parmesan and breadcrumbs together, then sprinkle this all over the top. 

Sprinkle a pinch or so of cayenne over this, then arrange slices of tomato over the top. 

Place the dish under the grill for a few minutes, until the top is nicely browned.

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