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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


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


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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