- 200 grams pasta
- 30 grams butter
- 1.5 tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 cup milk
- 80 grams cheese (normal tasty cheese is fine)
- 1/8 teaspoons smoked paprika - this is something my mum has always added. We used to add paprika from the supermarket but since I returned from Spain we have used Smoked Paprika from Spain. There are actually 3 types you can get in Spain and I use the Sweet Paprika (Pimentón dulce). It comes from an area called Vera and includes a sticker of authenticity when it's from there. The spanish will tell you it's the best if it's "de la Vera" or from Vera. If you live in Melbourne, you can buy it at Casa Iberica.
- Salt to taste
Cook pasta, as per packet directions (boil in slightly salted water).
Whilst the pasta is boiling, melt the butter in a pot on a low heat. Make sure it doesn't burn.
Once the butter is melted, add the flour and stir to combine. You need to cook this on a very low heat without it burning. This stage is cooking out the floury task from the sauce.
Once the butter and flour has been cooking for a couple of minutes, start to add the milk a little at a time. Ensure that you are stirring constantly to ensure you have no lumps. As I'm adding the milk, I sometimes hold the pot away from the flame so that it doesn't get too hot. It's all about temperature control!
Once the milk is combined, you have what is a basic white sauce. This much milk is quite runny and perfect for mac & cheese but if you are just using the white sauce then you might want to add less milk.
Cut up the cheese and stir through the mix. At this stage you can turn the heat up a little but not too high. I'd say a medium heat is good.
Once the cheese is all melted, add the paprika and salt to taste.
Stir the pasta through the sauce and serve. Yum!