MACARONI, LEEK & PARSLEY CHEESE - 200 words
500g leeks, trimmed and cut into 1-2cm crescents
50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
600ml semi-skimmed milk
100g British mature Cheddar, grated
3tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
2tbsp golden breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling water for three to four minutes before adding the leeks to the pot and continuing to cook for a further five minutes. Drain the pasta and leeks and set aside.
Meanwhile, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a medium pan and stir in the flour. Cook for one minute until thick, then, off the heat, gradually whisk in the milk, keeping the mixture smooth. Return the pan to the heat and stir constantly until thickened. Simmer for two minutes, remove from the heat, and add 75g of the Cheddar, the pasta and leeks. Stir through the parsley and season well before spooning into a 2L ovenproof dish.
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese over the pasta and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the top is crisp and golden, and the sauce is gently bubbling.