Crispy Topped British Asparagus Mac & Cheese

Serves: 3-4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

You’ll need:

250g British asparagus

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 tbsp panko breadcrumbs

1 tbsp red pesto

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

250g short rigatoni (or another chunky pasta shape like penne)

50g butter

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

50g plain flour

750-850ml whole milk

50g grated Parmesan cheese

80g grated cheddar

Sea salt & black pepper

What to do:

Wash and trim the asparagus and blanch it briefly in boiling water and then refresh in cold water. Set to one side.

In a small bowl, mix the crushed garlic, olive oil, breadcrumbs, red pesto and Parmesan and mix together. Set to one side.

Put the pasta on to cook in a large pan of salted, boiling water.

In a separate pan on a medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the flour and cook for one more minute, stirring as you go.

Now slowly whisk in the milk, start with 700ml and see how much your sauce thickens – you want it to coat the back of the spoon, but not get too thick, so add more milk if necessary. Now take off the heat and mix in the cheeses and plenty of salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat your grill on medium-high, then mix the pasta with the sauce and the blanched asparagus and transfer to a large oven proof dish. Crumble over the breadcrumb mix. Put under the grill for around 5 minutes, or until golden and crispy.