Spinach and bacon macaroni cheese. With a crispy top.
If you come to my house you will be fed. Even if it’s just a biscuit or a slice of cake with a cuppa I will feed you. I’m incapable of not providing something to eat. It’s an automatic thing for me. Food is a welcome, a sign that you are wanted and your company is enjoyed.
TACT is a charity that provides fostering and adoption services to help some of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people. Their aim is to help provide loving family homes and fresh starts. For me, food and family is so strongly linked that I am more than happy to be joining in with the Care to Cook Challenge. TACT understand the role that food and family meals can play in creating a safe secure environment and have published their own Care to Cook recipe book, which you can buy for £3 and help raise funds.
Pasta screams comfort food to me, macaroni cheese especially. Even my not a huge fan of pasta husband will happily eat a couple of bowls of this, beefed up with bacon and spinach, sliced tomatoes and a crispy topping.
Served with a salad and sitting round a table, or dished up in bowls and snaffled on the sofa whilst watching a film, it’s a friendly meal and a firm family favourite of ours.
The classic comfort of macaroni cheese with spinach, bacon and a crispy top. because everything's better with bacon and a crispy top.
- 300g macaroni
- 200g bacon, lardons, pancetta or just a few rashers cut up
- 200g fresh spinach
- 175g extra mature cheddar, grated
- 300ml tub crème fraiche
- Salt and pepper
- 3-4 tomatoes, depending on their size
- 100g breadcrumbs
- Glug of olive oil
- 1 garlic glove, minced
- Fry the bacon until crisp and cook the macaroni as per the instructions on the pack.
- Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the water and tip it back in the pan. Add the bacon, spinach, cheese, crème fraiche and the reserved pasta water. Mix well. The heat from the pasta will wilt the spinach. Season to taste. If the mixture is a little too thick for your liking then add a splash of milk.
- Tip the macaroni mixture into an ovenproof dish and preheat the oven to 200c.
- Slice the tomatoes and place on top of the macaroni.
- Make the topping by combining all of the ingredients. I do this in a mini food processor. Scatter the topping over the macaroni and bake for around 25 minutes until the topping is crispy and golden brown and the macaroni bubbling.
This can be made in advance and then baked later on in the day.