I know lots of fussy children who only ever want to eat plain pasta with grate cheese. Maybe with a little gentle persuasion they could be enticed to try this tasty macaroni cheese. You can make it with or without the ham – it’s really delicious cheese sauce. Pasta provides a good source of complex carbohydrate, so this macaroni will boost your child’s energy levels as well as providing a good source of protein and calcium.
350g (12 oz) macaroni
75g (2 ½ oz) sliced ham, shredded (optional)
45g (1 ½ oz) butter
45g (1 ½ oz) flour
450ml (16fl oz) milk
85g (3 oz) Gruyere, grated
60g (2oz) freshly grated Parmesan
150g (5 ½ oz) mascarpone cheese
40g (1 ½ oz) breadcrumbs (2 medium slices bread white or wholemeal, crusts removed)
20g (3/4 oz) freshly grated Parmesan
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions in plenty of salted boiling water.
Melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring over a low heat for 5-6 minutes. Take off the heat, stir in the Gruyere and Parmesan until melted, then the mascarpone cheese. Drain the pasta, return to the pan, and pour over the cheese sauce and heat through gently. Stir in the shredded ham (if using). Transfer to a greased ovenproof dish (approximately 26cm x 17cm x 5 cm/ 9 in x 6in x 2in). Mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle on top. Place under a preheated grill until golden and bubbling.
Suitable for Freezing