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August's winning reader recipe - Macaroni cheese with a kick

by Sarah Alcock

Serves: 2

You voted on the blog for Nikki Edwards' macaroni cheese with a kick, so here it is. Make it as a Friday night treat for friends.

If you'd like the chance to have your recipe featured on our blog, email a picture of your homemade dish and a short description to

What's your favourite dish to make for friends? Tell us in the comments box below.

Macaroni cheese with a kick


  • 200g macaroni
  • 150g mature cheddar
  • 15g butter, plus extra for frying
  • 15g plain flour (1 heaped tbsp)
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 70g cubetti di pancetta
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 25g parmesan
  • 2 tsp spicy chipotle chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp soured cream
  • a few Peppadew picante peppers
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water according to the pack instructions. Drain and return to the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, grate the cheddar. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  3. Stir in the milk, adding a little at a time until combined and smooth. Cook, stirring until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the cheddar and season.
  4. Fry the pancetta in a dry frying pan until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and add the chopped spring onion; fry briefly until softened.
  5. Add this and the pancetta to the pan with the macaroni and pour over the sauce. Mix everything together and transfer to a small ovenproof baking dish.
  6. Grate the parmesan on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbling.
  7. Serve with a little chipotle paste, a dollop of soured cream, a few Peppadew peppers and some freshly chopped coriander.

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