This uses an easy version of white sauce, is a great way to use up leftover bits of cheese from the fridge and adds vegies for extra nutrition. You can use any mixture of cheese for this - blue cheese, parmesan, cheddar, whatever you have. Just make sure it’s are grated fairly finely, so it melts in the sauce. You could also use leftover pasta from the fridge here too. Likewise, if you don't have wholegrain mustard, you could easily use Dijon or whatever mustard you have to hand.
This is proper comfort food with a little bit of veggie action in there too, and a great way to use up leftover bits of cheese or pasta.
- 250 g (9 oz) macaroni
- 1 cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 broccoli, broken into florets
- 700 ml (1¼ pints) cold milk
- 50 g (2 oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
- 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 200 g cheddar cheese, grated (or whatever cheese you have)
- Sea salt and ground pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Fill a large cooking pot (big enough to hold the cooked pasta, broccoli and cauliflower) with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, for about 12 minutes.
2. Five minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the cauliflower florets to the water. Two minutes later add the broccoli florets. (If you don’t have enough space just put on a second pot of boiling water) Cook for the remaining 3 minutes, then drain the whole lot, place back in the pot and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), gas mark 6. Grease a 25 cm (10 in) square, ovenproof baking dish, approximately 5 cm (2 in) in depth.
4. Add the milk to a saucepan over a medium-high heat and the whisk in the butter and flour. Continuously whisk until the mixture comes to a steady simmer and continue to cook until you have a thick sauce.
5. At this point it´s time to add a bit of flavour, so add the wholegrain mustard, a pinch of nutmeg and three-quarters of the cheese, and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Mix through until the cheese has melted. Pour the cheese sauce over the contents of the cooking pot and mix through until everything is combined.
6. Pour the contents of the pot into the baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and pop in the oven to cook for 25 minutes or until the top has turned golden and the sauce is bubbling up the sides.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving in big deep bowls.