The macaroni cheese in Cook with Jamie attracted me because the photo bore no discernable resemblance to the stodgy macaroni that my primary school served up (or to the university's adult equivalent). This is mainly because Jamie doesn't make bechamel; instead, the pasta is cooked until almost al dente and tossed with a mixture of mascarpone, parmesan, and fontina/taleggio (taleggio seems to be easier to find round here), herb butter (made by frying marjoram or oregano in foaming butter) and some of the pasta cooking water to loosen. The pasta mixture is then baked in the oven in an earthenware dish, topped with extra grated Parmesan, nutmeg and mozzarella, before being whacked under a hot grill to brown up the top.
This macaroni is very nice. Not at all stodgy, just silkily cheesey; an easy, comforting sort of a dish. There are no strong flavours here, nothing to object to, just a gentle pasta supper with no pretensions (and no bechamel).
This is the kind of food you eat curled up on a sofa, rather than sitting up at a table, when you don't want uplifting and inspiring conversation; you just want to relax. It is I think, a gently warming, relaxing, definitely easy dinner.