Who doesn’t love mac & cheese? This is a fool-proof recipe for this classic pasta dish with smoky pancetta. I can’t think of anything better than this with crusty bread.

Ingredients: Serves 4+

280g dried macaroni

25g butter

25g plain flour

250ml milk – hot

1 tbsp. mustard

150g parmesan cheese, grated

150g mature cheddar

25ml double cream

100g pancetta

50g dried breadcrumbs


White pepper


Pre-heat oven to 170c fan/190c/gas mark 5.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the macaroni according to instructions on the packet. Drain when cooked.

In a medium sized saucepan, heat the butter until melted on a medium heat then, whisk in the flour until smooth and cook for a few minutes.

Whisk in the hot milk, a little at a time, waiting until the mixture has thickened before adding more. After all the milk has been added to the mixture the sauce should be thick. Add the mustard and 100g of the cheeses stirring all the time until it has melted.  Season with salt and a pinch of white pepper.

Cook the pancetta in a small frying pan until crispy and drain onto a paper towel.

Mix the pasta into the pan containing the cheese sauce followed by the pancetta. Add the double cream and transfer the macaroni to a large ovenproof dish and top with the breadcrumbs, and remaining cheese. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown.

Gary Townsend is Head Chef/ Owner Elements Restaurant www.elementsgla.com Instagram @elementsgla X @elementsgla Facebook /elementsgla