Recipe: Easy Avocado Mac & Cheese Bake

What are you having for lunch this week? If you're anything like me, you'll have celebrated the end of the longest month in the history of the world and gone a little overboard on pay day. There's no shame in it - I have a sneaking suspicion we're all guilty this time. But sadly, now sacrifices have to be made, so I'm saying cheerio to all those delicious Pret toasties and Itsu sushi boxes and tucking into this delicious dish all week. But, if you have been sensible and aren't already searching for pennies down the back of the sofa, this avocado mac and cheese is also the perfect addition to any dinner party you might be planning.

I was originally inspired by this lovely recipe, over at Two Peas & Their Podexcept I added an oven, pancetta, mushrooms and some more cheese.
So here goes - enjoy!

Serves 4-6 | Prep + cooking: 45 mins

300g macaroni
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
200g diced pancetta
250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/3 cup chopped coriander
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
4 cups mature grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Here's how
1. Boil the macaroni in a large pot of salted water until al dente (approx 10 mins). Drain and set aside.

2. Whilst your macaroni is cooking, start making the avocado sauce. Add the avocado, garlic, lime juice, coriander, salt and pepper to your blender and process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

3. Next we need to make a simple cheese sauce. Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in your flour to create a paste. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Stir until the sauce begins to thicken, then slowly add only 2 cups of cheese until it's melted and smooth.

4. Using coconut oil, fry your pancetta and mushrooms in a pan. This should only take about 10/15 minutes. Once they're cooked, set aside.

5. Place macaroni into a large bowl, then add the pancetta, mushrooms, avocado sauce and cheese sauce. Stir until evenly covered, then add salt and pepper to taste, place in an oven dish and scatter the remaining 2 cups of cheese on top.


6. Bake at 200 degrees for half an hour, moving it up under the grill for the last 10 to achieve a nice crispy topping.

7. Refrigerate and store in tupperware boxes ready for the week ahead.

Note: The lime juice used in this recipe is to keep the avocado from browning, there's a chance the pasta might turn slightly brown over the week, but not bad.