The Food Gatherer's Note: A fabulous comforting crowd pleasing supper.  If I am going from the book I like this recipe based on Angela Hartnett's  from "A Taste of Home" - although she uses pancetta rather than streaky bacon, either will work. 


Mac 'n' Cheese

400g dried macaroni pasta
25g butter, plus 1 tbsp extra
25g flour
500ml milk
Salt and black pepper
200g Montgomery cheddar, grated
2 leeks, washed, halved and sliced
100g streaky bacon, chopped
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
100g parmesan, grated

To Prepare:
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, stir and cook until al dente. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Meanwhile, melt 25g butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk until you have a smooth, white sauce. Season, and whisk in the cheddar. Melt the tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan, and fry the leeks and pancetta until the leeks are soft and the pancetta is cooked. Drain the pasta, tip it back into the pot, then mix in the sauce, leeks, pancetta and parsley. Pour into an ovenproof dish and top with parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and starting to colour.