Southern-style mac ‘n’ cheese, with sweet potato, served in a large dish

Southern-style mac ‘n’ cheese

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Prep: 10 mins Cook: 45 mins

Easy

Serves 4-6

Round out this cheesy pasta classic with roasted sweet potato, a staple food in the southern US states, and turn up the temperature with a pinch of cayenne

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving (6)

  • kcal462
  • fat20g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs52g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre4g
  • protein15g
  • salt1g
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Ingredients

  • 400g sweet potatoes (1 large or 2 small)
    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potato

    sweet po-tate-toe

    Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne
  • 35g butter
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g plain flour
  • 600ml whole milk
  • 3 tsp American mustard (or 2 tsp English mustard)
  • generous grating nutmeg
    Nutmeg

    Nutmeg

    nut-meg

    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 135g mature cheddar, grated
    Cheddar

    Cheddar

    Ched-ah

    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

  • 225g macaroni

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into small bite-sized chunks. Toss in a 20cm gratin dish with the olive oil, cayenne and some seasoning. Roast for 25-30 mins, or until golden and soft, tossing occasionally.

  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Stir together to make a roux, and cook for a couple of mins. Remove from the heat, then slowly pour in the milk a little at a time, stirring well after each addition. Put the pan back on the heat and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Turn the heat down, add the mustard and nutmeg, and season well. Add in most of the cheese (keep some for the top) and continue to stir. Taste for seasoning. Keep on a low heat so it stays warm until the macaroni is ready.

  3. Cook the macaroni in boiling, lightly salted water for a couple of minutes less than it says on the packet. Drain (reserve some of the pasta cooking water), then stir the pasta and cooked sweet potato into the cheese sauce. The mixture should be quite thick, but add a little of the pasta cooking water to loosen if necessary. Taste for seasoning.

  4. Tip the mixture into the gratin dish, then scatter over the rest of the cheese and return to the oven. Bake for about 20-30 mins, or until the top is golden brown and bubbling.

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