Cauliflower and pancetta macaroni cheese
Waitrose and Partners

Cauliflower and pancetta macaroni cheese

4.5 out of 5 stars(3) Rate this recipe
  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare15 mins
  • Cook1 hr 10 mins
  • Total time1 hr 25 mins

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  • 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
  • 1 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.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,354kJ/ 565kcals



Saturated Fat












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