|375g dried pasta shapes, e.g. conchiglie, fusilli or penne|
|1 onion, finely chopped|
|50g unsalted butter|
|1 clove garlic, crushed|
|2 tbsp plain flour|
|150ml double cream (or use extra milk for a less rich option)|
|150g gruyere or mature cheddar, grated|
|200g piece smoked ham, torn into shreds|
|Small bunch chives, snipped|
|Salt & freshly ground black pepper|
|500g cooked beetroot (2 packs), cut into 1cm cubes|
What to do:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and reserve.
- Set a heavy based saucepan over a low heat, sweat the onion in the butter for 10-15 minutes until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute before stirring through the flour.
- Pour in milk and cream, and bring up to the boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Simmer steadily for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour.
- Turn out the heat, stir through half the cheese, the ham and chives. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Stir through the cooked pasta and beetroot and spoon into a baking dish. Scatter over the rest of the cheese and bake for about 20 mins golden brown and bubbling.
- Serve immediately, accompanied by a green salad.