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Four Cheese and Kale Macaroni with an Almond Crumb

Serves 4 

  • For the macaroni cheese
  • 300g/10½oz dried macaroni
  • 40g/1¾oz butter
  • 40g/1¾oz plain flour
  • 500ml/18fl oz milk
  • 100g/3½oz blue cheese, preferably mild gorgonzola, grated or finely diced
  • 150g/5½oz cheddar, grated
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
  • 100g blanched kale
  • 100g/3½oz mozzarella, diced
  • 75g/3oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 25g/1oz freshly grated Italian hard cheese
  • 20g flaked almonds
  • Handful fresh chives, roughly chopped, to serve
  1. For the macaroni cheese, preheat the oven 200°C.
  2. Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water according to the packet instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, heat the butter until melted, then whisk in the flour until smooth and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.
  4. Whisk in the milk a little at a time, waiting until the mixture has thickened after each addition before adding more and whisking continually.
  5. After all of the milk has been added to the mixture, you should have a smooth sauce with the consistency of double cream.
  6. Add all of the blue cheese, and 100g/3½oz of the cheddar to the sauce and heat gently, stirring all the time, until it has melted. Season, to taste, with salt, freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg.
  7. Drain the cooked pasta and tip it into the pan containing the cheese sauce. Roughly chop the drained blanched kale and then add.
  8. Stir well to coat the pasta and kale. Set aside.
  9. In a small food processor add the breadcrumbs, and flaked almonds and blend for 10 seconds
  10. Transfer the macaroni cheese to a large ovenproof dish and first top with the chopped mozzarella, and then add breadcrumb mix, cheddar and Italian hard cheese.
  11. Place into hot oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and bubbling finish with a sprinkle of chives, leave to rest for 2mins and serve