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Kitchen Garden Macaroni

The following recipe was much enjoyed, eating outside on a warm and balmy summer’s evening, along with a simple tomato and basil salad, some well-chilled rose, and yet another irresistibly wonderful summer pudding.

 Kitchen Garden Macaroni

  Serves 3-4

 5 oz (150 g) macaroni (we used Martelli maccheroni)
 2oz (50 g) butter
 2oz (50 g) plain flour
 1 pint (570 ml) milk
 cayenne pepper
 freshly grated nutmeg
 8 oz (225 g) mixed green vegetables (we used broad beans, shelled peas and dwarf beans)
 3 spring onions
 3 oz (75 g) strong cheddar
 3 oz (75 g) mozzarella
 2 oz (50 g) grated pecorino romano (or parmesan)
 a few sage leaves
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
  Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C)
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You will also need a shallow gratin dish (2 pint, 1.2 litre capacity).


Begin by making the sauce: place the butter, flour and milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat, and whisk continuously until it has become smooth and thickened.

Season with salt, freshly milled pepper, a good pinch of cayenne and a few gratings of nutmeg then turn the heat down to its very lowest and leave it for about five minutes.

Now put a large saucepan containing 3 pints of water on to boil for the pasta. Place the broad beans, peas and dwarf beans (cut into 1-inch, 2.5-cm, lengths) in another saucepan, add some salt, pour boiling water from the kettle on them and simmer gently for 2 minutes.

Then strain off the water and sluice the vegetables under a cold tap. When the pasta water is boiling, add the macaroni and a seasoning of salt and time it for 6 minutes. While that’s happening chop the spring onions (including the green parts) and add them along with the cheddar cheese to the sauce. Taste to check the seasoning and, lastly, cut the mozzarella into small cubes. 

When the pasta is cooked, strain it and place it in the baking dish, toss in the vegetables and half the mozzarella cubes, then pour in the sauce and give it all a good stir.

After that top with the rest of the mozzarella and the grated pecorino, scatter a few sage leaves over and bake on a high shelf in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden-brown and the sauce bubbling. (Note: if you want to make this in advance and it goes into the oven completely cold, give it up to 35 minutes).


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