zoom Cauliflower and pancetta macaroni cheese

    Save to your scrapbook

    Cauliflower and pancetta macaroni cheese

    This will be saved to your scrapbook

    You can also add it to one of your existing cookbooks


      Email this recipe to a friend

      Send a link to this recipe to a friend or your own e-mail address as a reminder

      * mandatory

    Cauliflower and pancetta macaroni cheese

    An amalgam of two comfort food classics. The pasta gives it the heft to serve as a main course, with just a green salad on the side.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 70 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets, plus any pale inner leaves
    • 150g macaroni
    • 150g diced pancetta
    • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
    • 4 tbsp plain flour
    • 600ml whole milk
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 50g parmigiano reggiano, grated
    • 100g mature cheddar, grated
    • ¼ fresh nutmeg, grated
    • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
    • good pinch cayenne pepper
    • 75ml double cream


    1. Cook the cauliflower in boiling, salted water for 6-8 minutes, until just tender. Scoop it out and drain with a slotted spoon; set aside.

    2. Put the macaroni in the same water; cook according to pack instructions, until just al dente. Drain and set aside.

    3. In the same pan, fry the pancetta for about 7-9 minutes, until crispy. Remove and add to the cauliflower and pasta.

    4. Melt the butter in the pan; add the flour. Stir for 1-2 minutes, until it starts to bubble. Gradually whisk in the milk until it forms a smooth sauce. Add the bay leaf; simmer over the lowest heat for 10 minutes, stirring often, until thick and smooth.

    5. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Mix together the cheeses and stir all but a couple of handfuls into the white sauce. Add the nutmeg, then add the mustard, cayenne pepper and cream; season generously. Stir in the cauliflower, pasta and pancetta. Taste and add more seasoning and nutmeg, if needed. Pile into a gratin dish (about 1.5-2 litres in volume) and scatter with the reserved cheese. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until bubbling and tinged with gold.

    Your recipe note

    Edit your recipe note


    Average user rating

    4 stars