Cheat’s lux­ury mac­a­roni cheese

SERVES 4

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Food Annie Bell -

200g mac­a­roni 250g leeks (trimmed weight) 200g comté or gruyère cheese 2 tbsp ground­nut or vegetable oil sea salt and black pep­per 200ml white wine 200ml sin­gle cream 1 level tbsp di­jon mus­tard nut­meg freshly grated 50g parme­san freshly grated 30g good-qual­ity white bread­crumbs (for ex­am­ple sour­dough)

l Cook the mac­a­roni ac­cord­ing to the packet in­struc­tions un­til al dente and drain it in a colan­der.

l Mean­while, halve the leeks length­ways and slice them thinly. Cut the comté into thin strips a few cen­time­tres long. Heat a ta­ble­spoon of oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the leeks, sea­son and fry for 7-10 min­utes un­til soft and silky, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. Add the wine and sim­mer to re­duce by half, then add the cream and mus­tard and bring to the boil. Sea­son with nut­meg and stir in half the parme­san.

l To­wards the end of this time, heat the grill and place a gratin dish (for ex­am­ple an oval dish 30cm long) be­neath to warm through. Stir the mac­a­roni into the leek mix­ture and gen­tly re­heat, then mix in the comté and tip into the hot dish. Toss the bread­crumbs with a ta­ble­spoon of oil in a medium bowl, and mix in the re­main­ing parme­san. Scat­ter this over the mac­a­roni and pop un­der the grill for about 5 min­utes un­til the cheese is molten and gooey and the crumbs are golden. Serve straight away.

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