I sometimes congratulate my husband for having the good sense to marry a woman who can throw a dish of Mac 'n Cheese with Pepperoni together at a moments notice.
Mac 'n Cheese with Pepperoni
For the Pasta:
1 tablespoon olive oil
200g pepperoni cut into fine dice
400g macaroni ( I used Liscio Piccolo)
Large handful fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 fresh white breadcrumbs
For the Bechamel Sauce:
100g plain flour
60ml white wine
300ml thickened cream
80g grated Parmesan cheese
80g grated Asiago cheese
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Make the Bechamel Sauce:
Mix the two cheese together in a small bowl.
Place the butter in a large saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until you have a thick paste. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, until you have a thick, smooth sauce.Add the wine and cream and stir to combine. Remove from the heat, stir in 2/3 of the cheese, then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover sauce, set aside and keep warm.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pepperoni and cook, stirring for about 4-5 minutes until crispy. Drain on paper towel.
Make the Pasta:
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling, salted water according to packet instructions until almost al dente. Drain.
Add the pasta, basil and pepperoni to the bechamel sauce, stirring to combine, then pour into a 2.5L baking dish.
Combine breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese and scatter over the pasta. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.