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Truffle mac ’n’ cheese with cauliflower
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25g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1 large cauliflower (about 1kg), trimmed and broken into large florets
200g fresh penne
25g plain flour
300ml whole milk, warmed
1 heaped tsp English mustard
200g Godminster Black Truffle Vintage Organic Cheddar (available from the cheese counter), wax removed and cheese coarsely grated
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6, and lightly grease a large ovenproof dish (about 2 litres in volume). Put the cauliflower and any tender leaves in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water, add a pinch of salt and set over a high heat. Once at a rolling boil, add the pasta. Stir for 1 minute then drain over a large bowl, reserving 250ml of the cooking water. Arrange the penne and cauliflower evenly in the dish.
2. For the cheese sauce, return the pan to a medium heat with the 25g butter. Once foaming, add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the warm milk, a splash at a time, ensuring everything is incorporated before adding more. Once all the milk is combined, slowly stir in the reserved cauliflower water until you have a smooth sauce. Stir in the mustard and simmer for 1 minute.
3. Take the pan off the heat and stir in ¾ of the cheddar until you have a rich, smooth sauce; season. Spoon the sauce over the cauliflower and penne, stirring together until evenly coated. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbling and golden. Stand for 5 minutes and serve with a green salad, if liked.
To further help you on the way to reaching your five a day, add 200g cherry tomatoes to the dish along with the pasta and cauliflower.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in September 2021.