A comfort food and a favourite with my son throughout his schooldays was Mac and cheese. I used to make it three or four times a week. I use sharp English mustard and chilli flakes, which impart a unique flavour to the dish.
Elbow pasta 2 cups
All-purpose flour 3 tbsps
Butter 2 tbsps
Olive oil 2 tbsps
Salt to taste
Pepper powder 1 tsp
English mustard 1 tbsp
Milk 1/2 litre
Cheddar cheese 1 cup, grated
Italian herbs 1 tbsp, dried
Peperoncino chilli flakes 1 tbsp
Boil 6 cups of water with 2 tbsps of salt. Add the pasta and cook till al dente. Drain.
Add the butter and olive oil to a heavy bottomed saucepan. I use Amul salted butter as I feel it gives a better flavour to the dish.
Add the flour and sauté on low flame till the raw smell of the flour is gone.
Add the milk gradually, whisking all the time. Add salt, pepper and mustard. Add the Italian herbs. Cook till the sauce thickens. It should not take more than three minutes.
Layer the pasta, white sauce and cheese in an oven proof dish. My trusted dish that I bought from John Lewis in London almost 15 years ago is the one I always use to make mac and cheese. Sprinkle the peperoncino chilli flakes on top.
Bake in an 180 degree C oven for 25 minutes.