Saturday, 20 February 2016
Macaroni Two Cheese Cauliflower Bake ( with optional pancetta)
Comfort food at it's very best....what could be better than a plate of Macaroni Cheese. Rich, warming and so flavoursome. I've made this a complete meal with the addition of cauliflower, tomatoes & spring onions . The Pancetta or bacon is optional especially if you prefer to keep the dish vegetarian but the addition of a little bacon will really satisfy the meat lovers in your family.
This recipe should easily serve 4 good portions or more
150g / 5oz of Macaroni or similar pasta ( I used Penne as that's all I had)
150g/ 5 oz chopped pancetta or bacon (optional)
1 medium sized cauliflower broken into florets
2 tomatoes diced
4 Spring onions (scallions) chopped
for the sauce:-
4 tbsps flour
3 tbsps butter
1 pt milk ( I used semi skimmed)
a bay leaf
60g/ 2oz grated Parmesan
150 g/ 5oz mature (strong) cheddar cheese
1 tbsp mustard ( I used English but Dijon will do)
1 tsp Tabasco Sauce
1 tsp grated nutmeg
3 tbsps double (half and half) cream
Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pan of boiling water for 4 minutes exactly, remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate ... reserving the water to cook the pasta in .
Cook the pasta as per packet instructions until al dente.
If using the pancetta fry until crispy
now make the sauce:-
Melt the butter in a saucepan
Add the flour and cook to combine.
Slowly whik in the milk a little at a time to prevent it from lumping
Add the Bay leaf , turn down the heat and simmer gently for around 8 to 10 minutes
Add the mustard, tabasco and all but a handful of both cheeses ( you will need these for sprinkling over)
Stir well then add the cream, stirring again
Add the cauliflower, pasta, tomato, pancetta (if using) and spring onions and mix well together
Place this into a large gratin dish
top with the grated cheeses
Bake in a hot oven 200c/ 400f / gas 6 for around 20 minutes or a little more until golden brown, hot & bubbling.