Who knew that something so creamy, comforting and naughty-feeling could pack a good serving of cauliflower and broccoli? This is perfect for the fussiest of children, and me and hubby both prefer it to normal mac and cheese now.
This is a gorgeously gooey mac and cheese with a hidden vegetable sauce (OK, its not quite mac and cheese as I’ve used fusilli -I had no macaroni!).
Our toddler will not touch broccoli or cauliflower with a barge pole and she asked for thirds of this – that’s how good it is.
Unless you have a big family the sauce makes too much for one meal, but it freezes and reheats perfectly for a second easy dinner – bonus!
2 heaped tablespoons butter
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
Salt and pepper to season or half a chicken / vegetable stock cube (I think the stock cube season it perfectly!)
100-200g grate cheese ( I used 120g of extra mature cheddar. You can add as much or as little cheese as you like. The more mature the less you’ll need to flavour the sauce!)
Half a head of cauliflower (approx two handfuls of cauliflower florets)
A quarter of a head of broccoli (approx one handful of broccoli florets)
100g of pasta per adult, 20-50g of pasta per child.
1. Chop into florets and boil or steam your broccoli or cauliflower until tender.
2. While the veg is cooking you can start making your cheese sauce…. Put two heaped tablespoons of butter into a pan over a medium heat and cook until it is melted.
3. Remove the butter from the heat and stir in two heaped tablespoons plain flour to form a roux.
4. Add 500ml of milk and half a stock cube (if using) and put back over a medium heat. Stir and stir the sauce until the milk has heated up and the roux has melted into the milk to give a thicker white sauce. It takes quite a while so be patient, it will go eventually.
5. Turn the heat off or down to low and add the cheese, stirring constantly until melted (don;t worry if it isn’t perfectly smooth as we’ll blend later!). You can add it a bit at a time and keep tasting until you find the amount of cheese you like. Put to one side for later.
6. When the veg has gone tender drain and add to the pan of cheese sauce. Blend until it forms a smooth sauce. Taste and season if needed.
7. Boil up as much pasta as you need and then pour over the sauce. Serve as it or pop in the oven until golden on top.
– This is lovely topped with crispy breadcrumbs.
– You could also add some chopped chicken, bacon or other veggies like tomatoes.