• 500g packet rigatoni
  • 850ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • half a nutmeg (or ¼ tsp ready ground)
  • 85g mature cheddar, or other hard cheese
  • 85g dolcelatte or other blue cheese
  • 85g garlic and herb cheese such as Boursin or roulé
  • 200g cooked ham, chopped
  • 85g mixed nut, such as cashews, blanched almonds, and hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • a handful of parsley, roughly chopped


  • STEP 1

    To cook the pasta, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a generous measure of salt and tip in the pasta. Stir once and return to the boil, then boil rapidly for 12 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5/fan 170C.

  • STEP 2

    To make the sauce, pour the milk into a pan and add the butter, flour and plenty of seasoning. Grate in the half nutmeg (or sprinkle in the ready ground). Bring to the boil over a medium heat, whisking all the time until it makes a smooth, creamy sauce.

  • STEP 3

    Drain the pasta and tip it into the sauce. Taste and add extra seasoning if necessary. Stir in the ham and grate in the cheddar, then tip into a shallow ovenproof dish. Dice the remaining cheeses and swirl into the pasta to make cheesy pockets.

  • STEP 4

    Mix the nuts and parsley together, then scatter over the pasta. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the nuts are golden and crunchy and everything is piping hot.


Use leftover turkey or any other cooked meat instead of the ham.

Give the topping extra crunch by scattering over a couple of handfuls of crushed crisps.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2003

Goes well with


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