Posh mac n cheese

To make a really stunning mac ‘n’ cheese – one that deserves to be served with Champagne and serviettes – I add wine to the cheese sauce and chilli to the breadcrumb topping.

  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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  • 50 gram butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for cooking the pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cup grated mix of cheddar and parmesan cheese
  • 250 gram dried elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chilli
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 2 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Liberally butter a large casserole dish.
  • 2
    In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat. When it bubbles, add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring throughout. Add the wine and cook for a further 1 minute.
  • 3
    Whisk in the milk and add the bay leaf, salt and pepper. Continue whisking until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick – 8-12 minutes. Taste it at this stage. If there is no taste of raw flour, it’s ready. Stir in the cheddar and Parmesan mixture, then set aside.
  • 4
    Cover a large pot of well-salted water and bring to boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of the pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone – around 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  • 5
    Stir the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce, then pour it into the prepared dish.
  • 6
    To make the topping, mix the breadcrumbs, Gruyère cheese, chilli, lemon zest, parsley and olive oil together, then sprinkle over the top.
  • 7
    Bake until golden brown and bubbling – around 30 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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