Add chopped ham or crisp bacon to the sauce if you like, and serve with a green salad.
300g short macaroni pasta
2 tbsp dried breadcrumbs; e.g. panko
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
50g plain flour
650ml milk, heated
75g parmesan, grated
75g gruyere or cheddar, grated
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp paprika
sea salt and pepper
1. Cook the pasta in plenty of simmering, salted water until tender. Drain well.
2. Heat the oven to 220 degrees. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, sprinkle with the flour, and cook over low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Gradually add half the heated milk, stirring well, until the sauce thickens, then gradually add the remaining milk, stirring, until thick but runny.
3. Add the cheeses, mustard, paprika, sea salt and pepper and simmer for 3 minutes, adding a little more milk or water if it gets too thick. Add the pasta and toss to coat, then divide between four lightly oiled ovenproof ramekins or pots. Mix the breadcrumbs with two tablespoons of parmesan and scatter over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling and browned.