This is a fantastic rainy day recipe – if you’re a cauliflower fan, off course. It’s easy, quick & extremely moreish! (I can even remember waking up in the middle of the night once, craving this…)
Macaroni Cauliflower Cheese Bake, serves 4 – 6
- Taken from the “Quick Pasta” section of Jamie’s Ministry of Food
½ head of cauliflower
200g Cheddar cheese
100g Parmesan Cheese
a bunch of flat leaf parsley
400g dried macaroni
200g crème fraîche
I had all the ingredients except for fresh herbs, but nevertheless, it came out wonderfully.
To prepare your pasta:
Remove the outer green leaves from the cauliflower and discard. Slice the end off the cauliflower stalk. Cut the head into small florets. Halve the thick stalk lengthways, then slice thinly. Grate the Cheddar & Parmesan into a large heatproof bowl. Finely chop the parsley stalks & leaves.
To cook your pasta:
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni & all your cauliflower and cook according to the macaroni packet instructions. Place the bowl of cheese over the saucepan & add the crème fraîche. Carefully stir every so often until the cheese is smooth & melted. If the water boils up beneath the bowl, just turn the heat down slightly. Add all the chopped parsley to the melted cheese & season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Carefully remove the bowl of cheese using a towel or oven gloves & put aside. Drain the macaroni in a colander over a bowl, reserving the cooking water.
Return the pasta to the pan, pour in the melted cheese & stir. It should have a lovely, silky consistency, but if it’s too thick for you, add a splash of your cooking water to thin it out a bit.
At this point you can either serve the macaroni as is, or finish it under the grill to make it crispy & golden on top. To do this, preheat your grill to a medium to high heat. Add 150ml of the reserved cooking water to the macaroni, stir in, then transfer to a baking dish. Place under the grill until golden & bubbling.
To serve your pasta:
Divide the pasta between plates or bowls, or place the baking dish in the middle of the table next to a nice green salad & let everyone help themselves.
This picture is of the first (civilized) helping. If, like me, your other half only eats ‘green trees’ (broccoli), then you’ll either need to make less of this recipe at a time, or you will be tempted to finish the whole dish, like I was…mmmm