For some people, Mac & Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. I'm not a huge fan of pasta-bakes, but on a lazy Boxing Day, this is an easy way of using up leftover milk and odd bits of cheese.

This is a basic recipe from the BBC Food site, but you can adapt it to use up whatever you've got in your fridge or to add a bit of extra flavour.

Ingredients

  • 50g baguette, cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp butter, plus 1 tbsp melted
  • 350g spiral or other short pasta
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 250g mature cheddar, grated
  • 50g parmesan, grated

Method

STEP 1
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Spread the baguette chunks over a baking sheet, drizzle with the melted butter and season. Bake for 6 mins until crisp, then set aside.

STEP 2
Boil the pasta for 2 mins less than stated on the pack, then drain. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and English mustard powder, cook for 1 min, then stir in the plain flour.

STEP 3
Cook for 1 min more, then gradually whisk in the milk until you have a lump-free sauce. Simmer for 5 mins, whisking all the time until thickened. Take off the heat, then stir in the cheddar and half the parmesan.

STEP 4
Stir the pasta and some seasoning into the cheesy sauce. Tip into a large ovenproof dish, or four individual dishes.

STEP 5
Scatter over the bread and the remaining parmesan, then bake for 20 mins until crisp and golden.