I love cauliflower cheese and I adore mac n cheese so for me the combination of the two into cauliflower n peas, mac n cheese was a no-brainer. Mac n cheese is of course the ultimate comfort food. Creamy and soft and rich and cheesy. It’s naughty but it’s also just so good that I think there’s a point where the endorphins that make me happy eating this overtake the cheese that’s clogging my arteries in terms of health benefits. Make sense?
The addition of the peas is really there because, firstly peas are green and I felt this dish needed a touch of colour, secondly they add a teeny little bit of healthy eating into an otherwise stodgefest of a meal, thirdly they are the ultimate child food and their inherent sweetness complements the comfort food quality of the dish and finally, who doesn’t love food that rhymes? Just say cauliflower n peas, mac n cheese a few times. It’s glorious.
- 350g pasta – traditionally you’d go for macaroni spirals but I only had penne so that’s what I’ve used
- 1 head of cauliflower cut into small floretes
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 500ml milk
- 100g mature cheddar – grated
- 100g Emmental – grated
- 2 tablespoons Fage Greek Yoghurt
- 50g Jarlsberg – grated
- a nob of crusty bread
Boil the pasta for 2 mins less than stated on the pack, then drain. I’m using my steamer pan base to cook the pasta so 5 mins in I added the cauliflower florets to the steamer pan and cooked those for 2 minutes, then set aside with the pasta.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min, then stir in the plain flour.
Cook for 1 min more, then gradually whisk in the milk and mustard until you have a lump-free sauce.
Simmer for 5 mins, whisking all the time until thickened. Take off the heat, then stir in the cheeses and the greek yoghurt. (Leave a little cheese for sprinkling on top.)
Stir the pasta and some seasoning into the cheesy sauce. Tip into a large ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese mixed with some chunky breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 mins until crisp and golden.
Eat and of course, enjoy!