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Macaroni cheese lasagne served in a large serving dish

Macaroni cheese lasagne

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Rating: 5 out of 5.34 ratings
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus resting
  • Easy
  • Serves 6 - 8

Feeling a bit fuzzy or need some comfort? Mac 'n' cheese and lasagne are sure to do the trick – and here we've combined them for the ultimate indulgent dish

  • Freezable (ragu only )
Nutrition: Per serving (8)
NutrientUnit
kcal574
fat25g
saturates13g
carbs49g
sugars9g
fibre4g
protein33g
salt1.3g
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g lean beef mince
  • 50g smoked pancetta, chopped
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ½ celery stick, finely chopped
  • ½ carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 150ml red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 400g macaroni
  • 80g grated mozzarella
  • a few whole basil leaves, to serve (optional)

For the cheese sauce

  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 tsp English mustard
  • 800ml semi-skimmed milk
  • small grating of nutmeg
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated

Method

  • STEP 1

    Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan or casserole dish over a medium-high heat, and fry the mince and pancetta until golden. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the onion, celery and carrot for 10 mins until just softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more, then return the meat to the pan.Tip in the wine, bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture is reduced by half. Stir in the tomato purée, tomatoes, stock, bay, rosemary and sugar. Simmer, covered, for 30 mins, then remove the lid and simmer uncovered for another 10 mins until reduced. The ragu will keep in the freezer for up to two months. Leave to cool completely before freezing.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan until foaming, then stir in the flour and cook for 2 mins. Stir in the mustard, then remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk in small additions. Return the pan to the heat and simmer for 5-6 mins, whisking continuously until thick and smooth. Add the nutmeg, parmesan and 80g of the cheddar, then season to taste.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6, and cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling water for 5 mins. Drain, then stir into the cheese sauce. Spread the ragu into the base of a large rectangular baking dish (ours was 28 x 22 x 5cm), then spoon over the mac ‘n’ cheese and gently spread out using the back of a spoon to cover the ragu. Top with the remaining cheddar and the mozzarella, and bake for 25-30 mins until golden and bubbling. Leave to rest for 5 mins, then scatter over a few basil leaves to serve, if you like.

RECIPE TIPS

ALWAYS ADD MUSTARD 
The sharp heat of mustard cuts through the richness of cheese sauce, so I always add a good quantity of it to mine. English or Dijon work well.
DON'T EAT MEAT?
Replace the meat sauce with a veg version. You can also swap the parmesan out for more cheddar, or use vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese.
DOUBLE UP
If you like, make a double quantity of the ragu and freeze half to serve with spaghetti or tagliatelle on another day. The frozen half will serve four people.

Goes well with

Recipe from October 2020, October 2020

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Rating: 5 out of 5.34 ratings
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