This is one that I’ve been meaning to make for ages. I’ve seen Americans going bonkers for it in movies over the years and I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. It’s a brilliant budget friendly option, can be made using store cupboard ingredients and ever so family friendly. Traditionally single cream is used but I didn’t have any, so I made it using a roux as the base. I think it needs loads of seasoning and lots of garlic otherwise it’s a little bland. Next time I’d be tempted to run a little spinach through it at the end or even a few herbs.
My beautiful cast iron shallow casserole pan was a gift from @lecreusetuk 🙏
5 cloves garlic - crushed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon plain flour
500 ml full fat milk
1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
180g grated Parmesan or pecorino (check pack to see if it’s suitable for vegetarians)
Lots of salt & pepper (particularly pepper)
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than packet instructions.
Sizzle the garlic in olive oil and butter, but don’t let it get any colour. Turn down the heat to low. Mix in the flour to make a roux. Gradually add the milk, mixing as you go. Keep stirring and bring to a gentle simmer. You want it to thicken slightly but not too much. See my stories for the consistency. A bit thicker than single cream is what you are after. Season generously and grate in the nutmeg. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Taste for seasoning - you will need more than you think.
Drain the pasta reserving some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir. If it looks too thick then add some of the cooking water. Finish with a little olive oil and a dusting of nutmeg. Serve immediately.