In my house we just call it ‘cheesy pasta’ and it’s at the top of the most requested dinner list.
25g plain flour
450ml full-cream milk
200g semi-hard cheese, grated (use whatever you have on hand)
½ teaspoon seeded mustard
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
40g (½ cup) fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a large stockpot, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.
2. While the pasta is cooking, melt half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and stir in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring, and then gradually whisk in the milk, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir through the grated semi-hard cheese, mustard and nutmeg.
3. Drain the pasta and transfer to an ovenproof dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and stir through. Melt the remaining butter in a small pan. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan and thyme and mix well to combine. Sprinkle this over the top of the pasta.
4. Bake in the oven for about 15–20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
This is an edited extract from Milk. Made. by Nick Haddow published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $55 and is available in stores nationally. Image © Alan Benson.