150g macaroni pasta shapes (or other small pasta shape)
300ml cold water
300ml semi-skimmed milk
30g very strong/extra mature cheddar (you can use reduced fat and I used ready grated)
1tsp english mustard
1/4 tsp salt
15g plain flour
Serves 2 (easily doubled)
Put a medium sized pan or casserole dish on the hob and throw in your pasta, all the water and 200ml of the milk. Set on a gentle heat and bring slowly up to a simmer. Stir occasionally and cook until the pasta is cooked al dente.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, mix the remaining 100ml of milk with the flour to form a thin, smooth paste.
Once the pasta is just cooked, add this milk and flour mix to the pan along with the mustard, butter, grated cheese, salt and black pepper to taste. Gently heat the whole lot and stir continuously until the sauce thickens.
You can either serve it straight from the pan or if you want to go one step further, cook the whole recipe in a skillet or shallow casserole dish, top with a little cheese and then pop under the grill for 5 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
Arthritis diet notes:
Macaroni cheese gets a bad rap normally from nutritionists as many chef-style recipes are crammed full of extra cheese and double cream. However, the traditional British version of the dish is comparatively light - it's normally made using a simple white sauce with cheese added and then topped with either breadcrumbs or more cheese. Obviously, full fat dairy products are rich in unhealthy saturated fats which can exacerbate arthritis inflammation but you can easily substitute lighter versions which are a good source of bone-boosting calcium. To ensure you still get maximum flavour, try adding a little mustard to boost the cheese flavour and pick the strongest or most mature types of cheese for the most cheesy taste.
My all-in-one version makes the most of these healthy short-cuts and makes a perfectly well-balanced meal served alongside plenty of vegetables - try a few little cherry tomatoes and peas or spinach with a touch of garlic.