How much does it cost? This recipe cost me less than £1.50 per person.
What are the benefits? This cheesy pasta dish is high in calcium, low in sugar and is vegetarian-friendly.
When I’m thinking about what to cook when I get home from work, especially on days like this when the nights are drawing in and it’s a bit miserable outside, there are three very specific things I take into consideration.
1) Time. I need something quick and simple that gives me time to chill out with a cuppa for 20 minutes when I get in from work and can still be ready for when we sit down to eat as my boyfriend gets home.
2) Money. It has to fit in with our tight weekly budget or, even better, rustled up with everyday ingredients from my kitchen cupboards.
3) Comfort. I like settling into my evening with food that soothes me, nurtures me and makes me feel better about my day.
That’s why I enjoy this recipe so much! It’s really quick, the ingredients are pretty bare-bones, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Gooey cheese sauce poured over a bowl of spaghetti, what more do you want? 🧀
Obviously cheese isn’t exactly a health food, but this dish does provide plenty of calcium, and fibre from the wholewheat pasta too. Using low fat cheese and milk alternatives helps make this a little better for you. But even if you don’t, this recipe is still comforting and cheap – just over a pound per person if you use low fat cheese, but even cheaper if you just use the normal stuff.
140g Wholewheat Spaghetti
1 tbsp (heaped) Plain Flour
250g Grated Cheese (low fat if possible)
1 Cup of Milk
1 tsp Butter
1 tsp English Mustard
A good crack of black pepper and a pinch of salt certainly doesn’t go a miss in the cheese sauce, along with a touch of dried garlic and some dried parsley.
So, this is how I did it…
1. Fill a saucepan with water, season with salt and add the spaghetti to cook according to packet instructions (usually 10 – 12 minutes).
2. Make the sauce by adding the cheese and flour to a pan, stirring well until the cheese is covered. Place the pan on a low heat and add the milk, butter and mustard. Season and stir continuously for a few minutes until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.
3. Drain the pasta, combine with the sauce and serve.
Tips & Tricks
- You don’t have to use spaghetti for this – it works just fine with any other pasta shape!
- Pasta and sauce alone is a little plain for my liking, so I threw some veggies in with mine (onion, tomato and sweetcorn) and it’s a great way to bulk up this meal. You could also try mushrooms or peppers, or perhaps some chicken and bacon.
- If you like a little more spice in your sauce, try adding some paprika and chilli flakes for a great flavour.