Hello! I hope you are having a good weekend. We have a quiet one planned before several busy weekends and festive plans start kicking in. I’ve been to get my hair cut and coloured this morning in Bath where I had a wander and bought a ‘coatigan’…yeah, I’m not 100% sure what it is either but it’s cosy and fluffy!
Today’s recipe is classic cold weather food although I for one could (and do!) eat mac ‘n’ cheese all year round. Any guilt you may feel at eating a plate of pasta and cheese is eased slightly with the addition of cauliflower and it really does add an extra flavour and texture to the dish. I kept mine veggie this time but if I made it again, I would try adding some bacon and maybe some spinach or broccoli florets too. I’ve stuck to Cheddar and Parmesan cheese for this recipe but it could be good to mix these up and experiment with some flavoured cheese as well.
I will hold my hands up and say that today’s recipe is one inspired by a Jamie Oliver dish my friend told me about where everything is cooked over one pan and the need to make a roux from scratch is avoided making this a perfect mid-week quick supper.
350-400g of macaroni
1 whole cauliflower (remove the leaves and cut into small florets)
300g Cheese (I used about 200g of Cheddar and 100g of Parmesan)
200g tub of crème fraîche
Salt and pepper
A bunch of fresh parsley
Another handful of grated cheese for the topping (optional but necessary!)
How to make it
- In large pan of boiling water, add the pasta and cauliflower florets
- Place a large bowl over the pan, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water, and add the cheese and crème fraîche
- Now, the theory is that in the time the pasta and cauliflower takes to cook, the steam from the pan should melt the cheese and crème fraîche to create a smooth cheese sauce! This did work for me although I did have to remove the bowl and give the pasta the occasional stir to ensure it didn’t stick together.
- Once you have a lovely smooth cheese sauce, season well and add a generous amount of chopped parsley
- Remove the cheese sauce and drain the pasta and cauliflower
- In a large ovenproof dish, mix the cheese sauce through the pasta – you could serve it like this but I think you have to go for a crispy topping!
- Sprinkle over some grated cheese and pop it under the grill until the top has turned golden brown and crispy
You can enjoy this with a nice green salad but I prefer mine piled high in a bowl with a final sprinkling of fresh parsley whilst catching up on Gogglebox on the sofa! x