To me the most wonderful comfort food involves pasta and cheese and pork i.e. pasta carbonara would have to be my all-time favourite but macaroni cheese would have to be close for uncomplicated food served hot and fast.
300g macaroni or other short pasta 2 thick slices (250g) leg ham, chopped 2 tbs dried breadcrumbs 1 tbs grated parmesan
Sauce 50g unsalted butter 1/3 cup (50g)plain flour 600ml milk, heated 1 cup (75g) parmesan 1 cup (75g) grated guyere or cheddar 2 tsp Dijon mustard 1/4 tsp paprika
Preheat the over to 200c Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water till al dente and drain.
Melt butter over low heat and sprinkle with the flour and sir well with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes to cook out the flour taste. Add half the milk, stirring well, until the sauce thickens. Gradually add remaining milk, stirring until thick but still runny. Stir for a further minute, then add the cheeses, mustard, paprika, sea salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes, adding a little more milk or water if too thick. Stir in ham.
Arrange a layer of pasta in the base of four individual 2 cup (500ml) buttered ovenproof dishes (or 1 large 30cm x 20cm dish), then spoon on plenty of sauce, more pasta, then more sauce. Stir gently then scatter tops with the bread crumbs and paremsan. Bake for 30minutes until bubbling and brown.