Feed your family with this comforting pasta and cauliflower cheese bake

This rich, hearty dish is filled with flavoursome cheese and nutrient-packed spinach and cauliflower ‒ perfect for a cold winter’s evening

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The Ingredients

Serves 4

• 200g macaroni
• 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
• 250g baby spinach
• 50g butter
• 50g plain flour
• 525ml milk
• 100g strong Cheddar, grated
• 50g Stilton, crumbled
• 50g parmesan, grated
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 tsp English mustard
• Salt
• Ground white pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200°c/Gas Mark 6 and grease an ove-nproof dish measuring approximately 30 x 20 x 7cm. This recipe comes together best when the individual components are prepared in advance, so cook the macaroni in boiling salted water for 12 minutes and then refresh in cold water. Drain well and keep to one side until needed.

Place the cauliflower florets in salted boiling water for six minutes. Drain and leave to one side to cool naturally.

Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain and run under the cold tap until it is cold all the way through. Divide into several small balls and squeeze each one through a tea towel to remove all the water. Leave to one side until needed.

Melt the butter in a large thick-bottomed pan and then add the flour. Combine until a sandy texture has formed. Carefully add quarter of the milk and stir into the mixture until a smooth consistency is reached. Repeat this step until all the milk has been used and you have a creamy sauce. Remove from the heat and add three-quarters of the cheddar, Stilton and parmesan. Stir until the cheese has melted, before adding the mustard and the egg yolk. Season to taste.

Divide the sauce in two and stir the macaroni into one batch. Pour the macaroni and cheese mix into the prepared dish, top this with the spinach and the cauliflower, then more macaroni and finally the rest of the sauce.

Top with the remaining cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top has browned. Serve with roasted vine tomatoes.

This recipe is taken from the January issue of Village Life. Read it here.

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  • Sadie

    Hi, I sent an e-mail via village life but have never had it acknowledged? We entered the comfort food competition in the Jan edition of the magazine and took our time sending in what we thought was a worthy entry. Guessing we did not win, but we were interested to know what entry was successful? Thought it would appear on the blog, but have not seen anything. Can you shed any light on this or at least be polite enough to reply. Kind Regards – The Hayfield Family

    • Amy Dickson

      Hi Sadie,

      Thanks to you and all who entered the competition. The winner will be revealed in our Spring/Summer edition of Village Life, which will be published early April. There will be a blog post at this stage too, to highlight some of our favourites that didn’t quite make it. Many thanks, Amy

Amy Dickson

Post Author:
Amy Dickson

As Brand Content Manager I plan, create and curate the best articles, photos, videos and music for our channels, in particular the blog. With a degree in Journalism under my belt and many years’ experience in the big smoke as a journalist and editor, my focus is firmly on discovering the little gems hidden away in Center Parcs life, before buffing them up to make them sparkle online. From on-village events to the latest travel industry trends, I’ll be there – notepad in hand – to bring you the most entertaining and interesting stories.