Anchovies, thyme, caramelized garlic, a mixture of gruyere, parmesan and cheddar - this is a nice mac 'n' cheese. This is a recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver. The amount of anchovies may seem like a lot, but it's just enough. Play around with the mixture of cheeses, add a bit of nutmeg if you so wish, and you can also give it a nice crispy topping with breadcrumbs and olive oil (and perhaps more anchovies and thyme). —happyxbelly
In another large pot, melt the butter over low heat.
Add the flour, turn the heat up to medium-high, and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a paste.
Add the anchovies and garlic and keep stirring until the garlic becomes golden and sticky - about 3-5 minutes.
Add the bay leaves, and slowly whisk in the milk, adding a little bit at a time, so that you get a smooth sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn the heat down to low, stirring every now and then.
Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Put the macaroni in the boiling water and cook quite very al dente (it will still cook later in the sauce so you do want it quite al dente).
Drain the pasta but reserve about half a cup of the cooking liquid. Add the cooking liquid and the pasta to the pot with the sauce. Stir in the cheeses, thyme and pepper. Taste and adjust for seasoning - you can add another bit of minced anchovies here if you want.
If you've made this in an ovenproof pot, then excellent, put that in the oven. If not, transfer it to an ovenproof dish and put it in the oven. Bake it for 20-30 minutes until golden and bubbling.