For the béchamel sauce
- 600 ml full-fat milk
- 1 onion, stuck with 2 –3 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 55 g unsalted butter
- 55 g flour
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 85 g Sharpham Rustic cheese, grated
- 85 g freshly grated gruyère cheese
For the macaroni cheese
- 450 g macaroni or penne
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- handful breadcrumbs
- 30 g parmesan, grated
- small bunch chives, finely chopped
- 30 g butter
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Lightly butter a large gratin dish.
2. To make the sauce, place the milk and onion together in a saucepan. Add the bay leaf and bring slowly to the boil.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the onion and bay leaf to infuse for 20-30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat the butter and flour together in a saucepan and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously.
5. Remove the onion and bay leaf from the milk and slowly add it to the flour mixture, whisking continuously, until the sauce is thickened and smooth.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the nutmeg and grated cheese.
7. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook the pasta as recommended on the packet.
8. Scatter the garlic over the base of the dish.
9. Drain the pasta, leaving a little water to prevent the pasta from sticking. Transfer the pasta to the prepared dish and immediately begin pouring the sauce over it, stirring as you go so that the pasta will begin to absorb the sauce.
10. Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and chives. Dot the surface with butter and cook for 15-20 minutes, until bubbling and golden.