I rarely cook when I am in France, this is one of the first times, I couldn't buy all the correct ingredients so had to improvise in places (for example Arabella broke up the bread into tiny pieces to make the breadcrumbs and the cheddar was a combination of emmental, mozzarella & Comte cheese)!
Ingredients for 4 people:
2 big leeks trimmed and chopped
splash of olive oil
2 x 125g balls of mozzarella cheese
200g half fat creme fraiche
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
150g mature cheddar cheese
50g fresh breadcrumbs
50g Parmesan cheese, grated or flakes
350g lardons (optional)
First of all cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions (the macaroni should be slightly undercooked).
At the same time fry the lardons and the leeks for about 8-10 minutes. If you are vegetarian you can always leave the bacon out.
A couple of minutes before the macaroni is ready, add the spinach in the same saucepan.
Once this is ready take the pan off the heat and drain away the water in a colander. Then put it all back in the pan and mix in the bacon and leeks.
Now for my favourite part - tearing in half/two thirds of the mozzarella and mixing in the cheddar (I'm always over generous with the amount of cheese obviously), creme fraiche & Dijon mustard.
Put the mixture into an ovenproof dish. Top with the rest of the mozzarella and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Then cook in the oven for 25 minutes until it is crispy and golden.
And then tuck on in!!
Absolutely delicious - it was devoured by both adults and child. We adore it as it's a naughtyish dish but it also has the added bonus of healthy green veg.
We all enjoyed it immensely (I wish I could have had it all over again for Christmas lunch) - and it is the perfect heart warming dish for miserable weather….although I would be happy to eat it on a beautiful summer's day or anytime for that matter!! I once cooked it for a dinner party and Arabella cried as there was none left for her the next day!!
To save time you can easily prepare it the day before or that morning and then put it in the fridge until you are ready. It will take 30-35 minutes if you cook it straight from the fridge.