This all-American classic dates back to the days of
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°C/gas mark 6 and butter a baking dish of around 25cm across. Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until they soften. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture turns light brown, then slowly add the milk, whisking as you go. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika.
Reduce the heat to low, and keep stirring until the sauce thickens. When it does so, add the cheese a little at a time, continuing to stir until melted. Add the cooked macaroni to the pan, and — yes — stir until the pasta is thoroughly coated.
Remove from the heat and pour into your baking dish. Lay the sliced tomatoes on top, sprinkle with the flavoured breadcrumbs and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Place in the oven and bake until bubbling and golden brown — probably about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs, and serve. Cheesy goodness.
© 2012 All rights reserved. Published by Atlantic Books.