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Midweek Meal: It’s crunch time with this delicious mac and cheese recipe from Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Mac and cheese with crunchy sage breadcrumb topping. Photo credit: Issy Croker/PA.
Mac and cheese with crunchy sage breadcrumb topping. Photo credit: Issy Croker/PA.

If you are looking for a twist on a family favourite, then try this mac and cheese recipe from Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Richard Jones, which has a tasty sage and breadcrumb topping.

“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t adore this – it’s indulgent love on a plate,” write Sophie and Richard in their new book, Love. Food. Family.

If you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed at dinnertime, you can’t go wrong with this hearty mac and cheese.

Mac and cheese with crunchy sage breadcrumb topping

(Serves 8)

mac and cheese recipe
Mac and cheese with crunchy sage breadcrumb topping. Photo credit: Issy Croker/PA.

Ingredients

  • 150g salted butter
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 6tbsp plain flour
  • 1½tbsp English mustard powder
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2L semi-skimmed milk
  • 600g dried macaroni
  • 300g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 100g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 200g panko breadcrumbs
  • 15 sage leaves
  • 150g ball of mozzarella
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and black pepper
Love. Food. Family: Recipes From The Kitchen Disco. Photo credit: Hamlyn/PA.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200 Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7. Put the butter and garlic in a large saucepan and melt over a medium heat, then add the flour and stir until incorporated. Add the mustard powder, paprika and bay leaves, reduce the heat and cook, stirring continuously, for five minutes.
  2. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking as you go to avoid lumps. Bring the sauce to the boil, then leave it over a low heat to simmer, making sure you stir it often.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to a rapid boil over a high heat. Add the pasta and cook for six minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce, then drain the pasta and add it to the sauce.
  5. Remove from the heat, give it a good stir and add two-thirds of the grated cheeses. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Tip the mixture into a 30×20cm baking dish, scatter over the breadcrumbs and place the sage leaves on top. Scatter over the remaining grated cheese and tear the mozzarella on top. Drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy on top.

If you want more tasty recipes, check out our Midweek Meal archive. Or go to The Kitchen Disco website here.

Love. Food. Family: Recipes From The Kitchen Disco by Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Richard Jones is published by Hamlyn, priced £20. Food photography by Issy Croker.


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