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The Cheese Thing
- Preparation and cooking time
- A few hours to a day, if you want to rest it.
- Serves 8
A simple cheesy pasta dish. Serves as many or as few as you like, and keeps excellently.
- 500g ridged, diagonally cut pasta tubes
- 225g mild cheddar
- 225g mature cheddar
- 800g tinned tomatoes
- 60g unsalted butter
- 1tsp sugar
- Salt and pepper
- STEP 1Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil and cook the pasta to al dente. It's better to undercook than to overcook, as the pasta will continue cooking in the oven.
- STEP 2Cut the cheddar into small cubes, around 2-3cm square. The cheese is diced rather than grated so that it will melt into delicious puddles when baked. It's important to use two different strengths of cheese to provide contrast in the flavour.
- STEP 3Open the tinned tomatoes and, using a small knife, cut them into small pieces in the can.
- STEP 4When the pasta is finished, drain well but don't rinse. Add the butter to the pot and stir until the pasta is coated. Season with salt and pepper.
- STEP 5Add the cubed cheese and stir to evenly distribute, but avoid too much melting. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the sugar and mix well.
- STEP 6Transfer everything to an appropriately-sized oven dish or casserole. Don’t flatten the pasta on top- let the ends stick up to create an uneven surface that will brown and create delicious crunchy ends.
- STEP 7You can cover and let rest for a few hours, or you can bake straight away. Cook for 40-50 mins at 200°C (180° for a fan oven) or until the top is browned. Don’t worry if some of the pasta looks burnt, these are the best bits!