Your new comfort food favourites
BBC Good Food UK|October 2020
We’re sharing hearty dishes that will brighten up the darkening evenings – you’ll want to make them again and again recipes BBC GOOD FOOD COOKERY TEAM

Macaroni cheese lasagne

For me, comfort is a big bowl of cheesy baked pasta. Whether I’ve been feeling a bit fuzzy or under the weather, or just in need of a soothing bowl of something warm, both classic mac ‘n’ cheese and lasagne have always been there for me. Here, I’ve combined them in one gloriously sticky and rich recipe, with a meaty ragu.

Esther Clark

SERVES 6-8 PREP 10 mins plus resting COOK 1 hr 20 mins EASY Gragu only

2 tbsp olive oil

400g lean beef mince

50g smoked pancetta, chopped

½ onion, finely chopped

½ celery stick, finely chopped

½ carrot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

150ml red wine

1 tbsp tomato purée

400g can chopped tomatoes

250ml beef stock

2 bay leaves

1 rosemary sprig

1 tsp sugar

400g macaroni

80g grated mozzarella

a few whole basil leaves, to serve

(optional)

For the cheese sauce

50g butter

50g plain flour

2 tsp English mustard

800ml semi-skimmed milk

small grating of nutmeg

100g grated parmesan

100g mature cheddar, grated

1 Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan or casserole dish over medium-high heat, and fry the mince and pancetta until golden. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside.

2 Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the onion, celery, and carrot for 10 mins until just softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more, then return the meat to the pan. Tip in the wine, bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture is reduced by half. Stir in the tomato purée, tomatoes, stock, bay, rosemary, and sugar. Simmer, covered, for 30 mins, then remove the lid and simmer uncovered for another 10 mins until reduced. The ragu will keep in the freezer for up to two months. Leave to cool completely before freezing.

3 Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan until foaming, then stir in the flour and cook for 2 mins. Stir in the mustard, then remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk in small additions. Return the pan to the heat and simmer for 5-6 mins, whisking continuously until thick and smooth. Add the nutmeg, parmesan and 80g of the cheddar, then season to taste.

4 Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6, and cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling water for 5 mins. Drain, then stir into the cheese sauce. Spread the ragu into the base of a large rectangular baking dish (ours was 28 x 22 x 5cm), then spoon over the mac ‘n’ cheese and gently spread out using the back of a spoon to cover the ragu. Top with the remaining cheddar and the mozzarella, and bake for 25-30 mins until golden and bubbling. Leave to rest for 5 mins, then scatter over a few basil leaves to serve, if you like.

GOOD TO KNOW calcium • 1 of 5-a-day

PER SERVING (8) 574 kcals • fat 25g • saturates 13g • carbs 49g • sugars 9g • fibre 4g • protein 33g • salt 1.3g

Roast chicken risotto with chicken crackling

Anything that can be served in a big bowl with a spoon is ideal to cosy up with and while this seems like a very basic recipe, it’s elevated from standard risotto to something out-of-this-world with just a few simple tweaks. It’s also great for using up leftover roast chicken, and leftover skin, too, for making the crackling. If you don’t have anything left of the Sunday roast, buy three chicken legs and roast those. Homemade chicken stock and any juices from the roasting tin will lift this even further – add both to the risotto as you stir it. I like to finish it with a few drops of truffle oil and, if it’s a special occasion, you could finely shave some fresh truffles over the top for the ultimate bit of luxury.

Cassie Best

SERVES 4 PREP 20 mins COOK 45 mins EASY

1 leftover roast chicken carcass

(you’ll need about 300-400g meat, and as much skin as you can get from the carcass)

1 carrot, halved lengthways

2 onions, 1 unpeeled and halved,

1 peeled and finely chopped

2 bay leaves

2 chicken stock cubes

25g butter, plus a large knob

1 tbsp olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, crushed

300g risotto rice

125ml white wine

½ lemon, a zested small bunch of thyme, leaves picked

50g grated parmesan, plus extra shavings to serve truffle oil or extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

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