- 400g x macaroni
- 2-3 x tbsp olive oil
- 50g x unsalted butter
- 50g x plain flour
- 1 litre x whole milk
- 1 x onion peeled & cut in half lengthways
- 4 x bay leaves
- 1 x tsp x English mustard
- 100g x grated strong cheddar
- 100g x No. 8
- 50g x panko breadcrumbs
- 25g x grated Parmesan
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200c
Bring a pan salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni till still slightly al dente (2-3 minutes less than the manufacturer’s cooking instructions). Drain and set aside with a glug of olive oil to stop it sticking.
Meanwhile, heat the milk with the onion and bay leaves till it comes to the simmer and take it off the heat, and strain discarding the onion and bay leaves.
Heat the butter in a sauce pan and when foaming add the flour and keep stirring till starting to slightly colour and taking on a more nutty, roasted smell.
Whisk in about a quarter of the milk making sure there are no lumps. When smooth pour in the rest of the milk stirring or whisking constantly.
Stir in the mustard and take off the heat.
Add the Number 8 in small pieces (torn with your fingers) and keep stirring.
Stir in the cheddar which should slowly melt with the residual heat. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the macaroni with the cheese and No. 8 sauce and pour into an oven proof dish.
Top with the panko and the Parmesan and place into the preheated oven. Cook for 15 minutes or till bubbling and golden.
Take out and serve while piping hot!