The first thing is to make the bechamel which is easy: warm up half a pint of milk with some bay leaves, peppercorns, mace (or nutmeg), a bit of onion and some parsley stalks - I've actually run out of parsley so I omitted them this time. Once the milk is hot to the touch, but not boiling, take it off the heat, strain into a jug and allow it to cool a little.
Finally, heat up 25g of flour and 25g of butter, constantly stirring. Once you have a roux, take it off the heat and slowly mix in the flavoured milk.Once you have mixed everything in together, put it back on the heat and stir until thickened.
Pre-cook the runners, after destringing and cutting them into small peices. Heat up some olive oil in a saucepan and add a few smashed cloves of garlic, a chopped onion, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and about 1/2 a teaspoon of fennel seeds. Give them a minute or so, then add a tin of tomatoes, a glug of red wine, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes while you cook 175g of dried pasta.
Drain the cooked pasta and mix the tomato sauce and runners in, along with a handful of torn basil. Decant this mixture into oven safe dishes, you can do it all in a single dish or split it into two or three smaller ones.
Spoon the bechamel over the top and dot with peices of mozzarella. Top with a light grating of parmesan and a grinding of pepper. Bake at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes.