About this recipe:When the kids need something warm, filling and deliciously satisfying, nothing beats good old mac and cheese. Our Monday special macaroni cheese uses tortellini instead of traditional macaroni; the result is the ultimate in comfort food – perfect as the chilly autumn nights draw in.
1 packet ready-made fresh tortellini (ravioli will also work)
25g butter, plus a little extra cut into small pieces for the topping
25g plain flour
600ml (1 pt) milk
salt and pepper, to taste
80 to 100g grated Cheddar cheese
1 handful breadcrumbs
1 handful grated Cheddar cheese
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:40min › Ready in:1hr
Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil over a high heat. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet (usually 3 minutes for fresh pasta). Drain and transfer to a medium-sized ovenproof dish and set aside.
To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan on a medium heat. Stir in the flour until well mixed and cook for a further 1 or two minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in a little of the milk to make a smooth sauce. Return to the heat and gradually whisk in the remainder. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, and then simmer on a low heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cheese and allow to melt. Do not reboil - the cheese will become stringy and tough. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta.
Bake in the preheated oven for around 15 to 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, pat the top with small knobs of butter, cover with the breadcrumbs and cheese. Return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes.
This will keep in the fridge, covered with foil, for a few days.