Tom Aikens demonstrates how to make the perfect macaroni and cheese, using milk infused with bay, thyme, fresh basil and Dijon mustard. Tom uses both Gruyère and Parmesan for the cheese in this recipe, which gives this common dish a satisfyingly rich flavour, but if you are looking to make this recipe for vegetarians, select cheeses made with vegetarian rennet.
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Start by cooking some pasta of your choice in a pan of boiling water. Once cooked, strain the pasta and set aside
250g of macaroni pasta
Place the milk into a pan over a low-medium heat and add the thyme and bay. Bring up to a warm heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes
600ml of milk
6g of thyme
2 bay leaves
Meanwhile, place a separate pan over a low heat and add the butter and garlic. Cook out for 2-3 minutes then add the flour. Heat for for 2-3 minutes and stir constantly so the mixture comes together
45g of butter
4 garlic cloves
50g of flour
Strain the milk, thyme and bay mixture so that you are just left with the infused milk. Gradually (over 5 minutes) add the infused milk to the other pan and stir with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer
Take the pan off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the cheese, mustard, basil and pasta to the pan and then pour the contents of the pan into a casserole dish. Cover with some extra cheese and place in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes
1 pinch of salt
15 basil leaves
20g of Dijon mustard
50g of Gruyère
30g of Parmesan
1 tsp black pepper
Remove the dish from the oven, divide the macaroni cheese into 4 portions and serve immediately
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