You'll love this vegged up version of the creamy, cheesy classic pasta bake macaroni and cheese with the addition of versatile cauliflower. Get the kids devouring cauliflower wihtout even knowing its happening by smothering it in a creamy cheese sauce. Looking for more macaroni and cheese recipes?
- 750 grams cauliflower, trimmed, cut into large florets
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 300 grams casserecci or other short tubular pasta
- 100 grams butter, chopped
- ½ cup (75g) plain flour
- 3¼ cups (810ml) hot milk
- 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
- ½ cup (60g) coarsely grated vegetarian cheddar
- ¾ cup (60g) finely grated vegetarian parmesan-style cheese
- 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely
- 1Preheat oven to 240°C/475°F. Grease four 2-cup (500ml) ovenproof dishes.
- 2Place cauliflower on a large oven tray, drizzle with the oil and season; toss well to coat. Roast for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is almost tender and browned. Reduce oven to 200°C/400°F.
- 3Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 6 minutes (or
2 minutes less than directed on the packet, see tip); drain. Return pasta to pan.
- 4Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add flour; cook, stirring, until mixture bubbles and thickens. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth; cook, whisking, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat; stir in mustard, cheddar and two-thirds of the parmesan until cheeses melt. Pour sauce over pasta; stir to combine.
- 5Spoon the pasta mixture into ovenproof dishes; press cauliflower into pasta. Combine breadcrumbs, parsley and remaining parmesan; sprinkle over pasta.
- 6Bake for 20 minutes or until crumbs are golden and mixture is heated through. Season to taste; serve.
Cooking the pasta for 2 minutes less than suggested on the packet directions means that it will be perfectly cooked after it is baked in the oven.Use broccoli instead of cauliflower and blue cheese instead of parmesan, if you like.
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