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Sprout and Macaroni Bake

ingredients

serves 4
1 1/2 lb (700 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed
salt and freshly ground pepper
175 g (6 oz) wholewheat macaroni
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) 75 g butter
2 level tbsp plain flour (All purpose)
568 ml (1 pint) milk
175 g (6 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
3 oz (75 g) salted peanuts, roughly chopped

method

1. Cook the brussels sprouts in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well. Reserve one-third of the sprouts. Roughly chop the remainder.

2. Meanwhile, cook macaroni in a saucepan of fast boiling salted water until tender, but not soft. Drain well.

3. Melt 25 g (1 oz) butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring. Remove pan from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Bring to the boil, and continue to cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens, then add 75 g (3 oz) grated cheese and seasoning to taste.

4. Stir chopped sprouts and macaroni into sauce. Season and spoon into a 1.4 litre (2 1/2 pint) shallow ovenproof dish.

5. Melt remaining butter in a pan, stir in peanuts and remove from heat. Cut the reserved sprouts in half and arrange over sauce in the dish. Top with the remaining cheese and spoon over peanut mixture.

6. Bake in the oven at 190°C (375°F) mark 5 for about 35 minutes. Cover if the top is becoming too brown.

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