INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

  • 225g macaroni
  • 2.5tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2.5tbsp plain flour
  • Half a litre of full fat milk
  • 1tsp English mustard powder
  • 1tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 0.5tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 115g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated)
  • 60g of Gruyere cheese (grated)
  • 70g mature Cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 40g fresh Mozzarella (cubed)
  • 55g cooked ham (thinly sliced)
  • Freshly ground white pepper

HOW TO DO IT

Preheat the oven to 190C (gas mark 5)

In a large heavy based pan bring salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni to the packet instructions, until just al dente, then set aside

In the still hot pan, heat the butter over a medium heat until it foams

Whisk in the flour, then switch to a wooden spoon and stir constantly for 2 minutes until it turns nutty brown

Whisk in the milk and bring just to a boil, then stir with the wooden spoon to avoid hunks of flour or milk sticking

Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until the mixture is slightly thicker than heavy cream

Whisk in the mustard powder, Cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce, then add half the Parmigiano, the rest of the cheeses and the ham

Stir until all the cheese has melted

Stir in the cooked macaroni and mix well, seasoning with 1tsp of salt and the white pepper (to taste)
Transfer the mixture to a glass or ceramic casserole, top with the remaining Parmigiano and bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown

Serve in portions!