Smoky Mac and Cheese Pastacini

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Step 1.

If not using leftover pasta, cook 300g tubetti or other small pasta shape in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain.

Step 2.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once it foams, add the flour bit by bit, whisking as you go, until you have a smooth paste.

Step 3.

Cook for a min, then slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Add the paprika and chilli and whisk again to incorporate. Cook for about 3 mins until the sauce starts to thicken.

Step 4.

Grate in the cheese, stir and continue to cook until you have a smooth, thick and creamy sauce.

Step 5.

Add the pasta to the sauce and mix well to combine, then allow to cool to room temperature.

Step 6.

Into 3 separate bowls add the flour, eggs and panko breadcrumbs. Form the pasta mix into golfball size rounds and then dredge in the flour, then dip into the egg and finally the breadcrumbs.

Step 7.

Transfer to a clean tray and place into the fridge for 20 mins.

Step 8.

Meanwhile, make the slaw by grating the apples, carrot and fennel into a bowl. Squeeze out any excess moisture and then season with the mustard, vinegar, 2 tbsp of Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

Step 9.

Mince up the basil and mix with the remaining 4 tbsp Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise and set aside.

Step 10.

Fill a large pan half full with vegetable oil, you want it about 2 inches deep. Heat the oil to 180c and then add the pastacini in batches and fry for about 3 mins until golden brown.

Step 11.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and fry the rest.

Step 12.

Plate up 3 of the pastacini, a couple of spoons of the slaw and a good dollop of the basil mayo.

In partnership with Hellmann's.

700g Tubetti (cooked)
40g Butter
40g Plain Flour
500ml Whole Milk
1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Chilli Flakes
100g Mature Cheddar
50g Plain Flour
50g Panko Breadcrumbs
2 Eggs
2 Apples
1 Bulb of Fennel
1 Carrot
6 Tbsp Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise
1 Tsp Wholegrain Mustard
1 Tsp White Wine Vinegar
Handful of Basil
Black Pepper