APPLE, BACON & SAGE MAC 'N' CHEESE 

Pasta, crispy bacon and caramelised apples are folded through a rich cheese sauce and baked until crispy and golden on top!  Great for a cosy night in. 

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

350 grams of dried pasta, I used rigatoni
Knob of butter
2 x red apples, cord and chopped into 2cm chunks
7 rashers of streaky bacon
10 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large handful of breadcrumbs
1 large handful of parmesan cheese

WHITE SAUCE
75 grams butter
2 heaped dessert spoons of flour
600mls whole milk
500mls chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
1 large handful of grated mozzarella
2 large handfuls of grated strong cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Optional fried sage leaves and a big green salad to serve.

METHOD

Place the rashers of bacon under the grill and cook for 10 minutes or until crispy, turn them over half way through the cooking process. Drain on a paper towel and roughly chop. 

In a fry-pan over a medium heat, fry the butter, apples and sage leaves until golden. Add the minced garlic and fry for a further minute.  

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook pasta using packet instructions. Drain and set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 190°C

Place the butter in a large saucepan over a low/medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and stir until you have a golden crumble. Add the milk, stock and wine and whisk until thickened and all lumps have dissolved. This will take around 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add cheese, salt and pepper and stir to combine. 

Place pasta, fried apples, bacon and white sauce in an ovenproof dish and gently combine. sprinkle over grated parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the oven to grill and cook until the stop is golden and crispy. 

Optional: Fry extra sage leaves in butter for 3 minutes until crispy. Serve on top of macaroni and cheese as garnish.