We’ve given classic macaroni and cheese a posh makeover to turn it into a ‘grown-up’ party dish. Hit the deli to round up some ingredients for a simple antipasti platter and you’re all set for a stress-free supper with friends
- 400g fresh cheese or chicken-filled tortellini
- 250ml ready-made white sauce or cheese sauce
- 20g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- pinch fresh lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic crushed*
- sprinkle of paprika
- 200g smoked chicken or cooked pancetta, diced
- 150g frozen peas, defrosted
For the topping:
- 1 tub crème fraîche
- 2–3 anchovy fillets*, finely chopped
- 25g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 egg yolk
- 45ml milk
- black pepper, to taste
- 40g fresh breadcrumbs
- rocket and watercress salad
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1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease four individual ovenproof dishes and place on a baking sheet.
2. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the tortellini for 3–4 minutes or until cooked al dente. Drain and set aside.
3. Place the cheese or white sauce, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, garlic and paprika into a bowl and add the tortellini, smoked chicken or pancetta and peas. Stir to combine. Divide the mixture between the ovenproof dishes.
4. Combine the topping ingredients (excluding the breadcrumbs) and mix well. Spoon the mixture over the pasta and scatter the breadcrumbs over the top. Grate a little extra Parmesan cheese over the top, if desired.
5. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until the topping is golden and crispy. Serve with a fresh rocket and watercress salad.
*Cook’s note: For a subtler garlic flavour, replace the crushed garlic with roasted garlic. Simply roast a few whole unpeeled cloves of garlic in the oven until they’ve softened; squeeze the garlic out of its papery case and stir it into the sauce. The anchovy fillets add a robust saltiness, but can be replaced with crushed sea salt if desired.
This recipe serves 4.