Welcome to a new year of ‘Tried and Tasted Tuesday‘. If you are not familiar with this segment of the site, it’s a fortnightly recipe that I have made and tried from either a cook book, magazine or website. It has proven really popular and I hope you will love the recipes I have planned for January. First up is comfort food at it’s highest, macaroni cheese. With a hidden twist of added cauliflower, it’s a great way to get a vegetable in to fussy eaters. Topped with a crumb that has hidden depths, ready in thirty minutes and makes a batch big enough for leftovers. This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals, find it here.
Prep time: 8 mins
Cook time: 22 mins
- 8 rashers of pancetta (I used prosciutto because I couldn’t find rashers of pancetta)
- 1 large cauliflower
- 500g dried macaroni
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 250g créme fraiche
- 250g mature cheddar cheese
- 4 thick slices of country bread ( I used half a baguette)
- Few sprigs of rosemary
You could easily make this vegetarian by removing the meat element and adding a chopped smokey chilli to your crumb instead.
- Pre-heat oven to 200fan/220c/425f/gas mark 7, fill and boil the kettle, put the coarse grater attachment in the food processor. Or grate the cheese by hand and set aside in a bowl.
- Place the rashers of pancetta in a large roasting tray, at least 25x30cm. And place on the top shelf of the oven.
- Remove outer leaves of cauliflower, trim the base and quarter. Add in to a pan with the macaroni and cover with boiling water. Cook to packet instructions (around 12-14 minutes usually).
- If using a food processor, grate your cheese and set aside in a bowl. Then put your regular blade back in and add bread, take pancetta out of the oven and add this too, with a little olive oil. Blitz until you have rough breadcrumbs.
- Drain your pasta and cauliflower, reserving 400ml of pasta water.
- Tip pasta and cauliflower in to backing tray you cooked pancetta in, break up the cauliflower gently, add 2 crushed but still in the skin cloves of garlic, the reserved water, then stir in your créme fraiche and cheese. The sauce should be quite lose.
- Top with your crumb mixture and a few sprigs of rosemary and bake for 8 minutes.