Macaroni Cheese with Bacon and Leeks

This is one of my absolute favourite meals. I could make an oven dish full on Monday, and eat from it for the rest of the week. Absolute comfort in a dish. It's a slight adaptation on a classic I had growing up - one of my absolute 'mom' favourites. I believe you're in one of two teams when it comes to comfort food - spaghetti bolognaise or macaroni cheese.

Crispy bacon, sweet buttery leeks and pasta, coated in a thick cheese sauce. Topped with (more) cheese and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs, it emerges from the oven, bubbling, oozy and ready for a fork. With the drizzle of winter already starting, this is an ideal, not-too-expensive tummy filler when you have a crowd. Expect groans of pleasure.

How can you even consider any other form of comfort food? Thanks, mom.

Our friends at Laborie Wines are running a wonderful competition - giving you the chance to spoil mom. Do you have a favourite 'mom' dish - a recipe that takes you straight back to your childhood?
Submit your favourite mom-inspired recipe here. Laborie's chef will choose 20 winners, who will each win Elizabeth Arden perfume, an Eight Hour® Cream Skin Protectant and a bottle from the Laborie range - and be treated to Saturday lunch at the wine estate, where all the winners' dishes will be celebrated.

35g butter
1 packet bacon (shoulder or back), chopped
4 baby leeks, thinly sliced
400g macaroni
30ml (2 tbsp) cake flour
500ml (2 cups) full-cream milk
salt and freshly ground black
pepper, to taste
500ml (2 cups) Cheddar, grated
60ml (¼ cup) pecorino, grated
60ml (¼ cup) breadcrumbs

Heat 10g (1 tbsp) of the butter in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the bacon and leeks until the bacon is crisp and the leeks are soft. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside. 

Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan and add the flour. Whisk until well combined. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously. Bring to a boil (still stirring), reduce the heat and simmer until it starts to thicken. 

Add the grated Cheddar to the white sauce and continue to whisk.Season well. 

Combine the drained pasta, bacon and leeks and cheese sauce, and mix well. Pour into an ovenproof dish, top with grated pecorino, followed by the breadcrumbs. 

Place under the grill until bubbling and golden, about 10 minutes.
This post was sponsored by Laborie Wines.


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