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Cauliflower cheese & spring green pasta bake
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1 medium cauliflower, leaves and core trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 echalion shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
250ml whole milk
200g elicoidali (or penne)
1 head spring greens (about 150g), stalks cut out and leaves shredded
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ lemon, juice
50g Essential 30% Reduced Fat Mature Grated British Cheddar
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Finely slice ½ the cauliflower and cut the other ½ into small florets. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the shallot and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the sliced cauliflower and a pinch of salt to the pan. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, add the milk and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, bring another large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the pasta and simmer for 3 minutes, then add the cauliflower florets
and simmer for a further 3 minutes. Add the spring greens and simmer for a final minute. Scoop out a mugful of the cooking liquid, then drain.
3. Tip the cauliflower and milk mixture into a blender with the mustard, lemon juice and 200ml pasta cooking liquid. Whizz until smooth and season. Toss with the pasta, cauliflower florets and greens, plus 35g Cheddar. Tip into a baking dish. Scatter the remaining cheese on top and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Stand for 2 minutes before serving.
Cook’s tip Puréeing the cauliflower makes a lovely creamy but veg-packed sauce for this pasta bake – a bit like a lighter version of mac and cheese. Any medium pasta shapes which hold sauce well could be used in this recipe – penne, fusilli or any sort of tube shape would be particularly good.
Typical values per serving:
vegetarian/1 of your 5 a day/source of fibre
This recipe was first published in March 2021.