This was another new recipe we tried out today and it went down very well – I have been told I can make it again! There were also lots of suggestions of different variations we could try instead of the cauliflower such as broccoli or mince and adding blue cheese with the cheddar (my family are never satisfied!).
I have calculated this dish, to serve 4, costs around £3.50 depending on where you buy your ingredients and the quality. As usual, I used fairly budget ingredients and it was still delicious.
Although I made my own tomato and cheese sauces, you could easily substitute these for ready made or packet sauces if you are not confident making your own, or need to make it in more of a hurry.
This dish is great for making ahead of time as you can keep it refrigerated for up to 2 days or freeze for 1 month.
1 1/2 pints milk
1 tsp Mustard
100g Cheddar (plus extra for topping)
Pasta shapes (as many as your family would usually eat – I used around 250g)
1 large Cauliflower cut into florets
Frozen Spinach – as much as you like really, I would have liked more in ours however we were running low
4 garlic cloves (keep 1 whole and slice the rest)
Can of chopped tomatoes
1. Make the tomato sauce – Fry the garlic for 1 minute in a little oil (I am testing out Flora cuisine at the moment instead of oil!) then stir in the chopped tomatoes. Season then half-cover the pan and leave for 20 minutes until rich and sauce like.
2. Whilst the tomato sauce is simmering you can make the cheese sauce. Put the milk, flour and butter into a pan and heat, whisking constantly until smooth and thick.
3. Add the cheddar and mustard and mix well.
4. Boil the pasta and cauliflower for around 8 minutes – enough to soften but not fully cook.
5. Fry the whole garlic clove in a separate pan for a minute then add the spinach and season. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove the garlic.
6. Set aside around 300ml of the cheese sauce and mix the rest into the cauliflower and pasta.
7. The assemble! First put the tomato sauce at the bottom of the dish/dishes.
8. Spread the spinach mixture on top.
9. Top this with the cauliflower and pasta.
10. Top with the remaining cheese sauce.
11. Bake in the oven at 200C for around 30 minutes until bubbling and hot throughout. I topped our bake with some more grated cheese and oats to get a lovely crispy top.
I served ours with some tomatoes roasted in balsamic vinegar as they needed using up, and some garden peas which were really good accompaniments for a delicious dish – this will definitely be going on our regular menu!