Macaroni cheese with broccoli or cauliflower is a fabulous dish to get kids eating more greens – it’s a wonderfully comforting food using Cheddar, Feta and Parmesan, which makes it a perfect family dinner for a busy week night. I like to serve it with a nice tomato salad.
Ingredients (serves 4):
350g broccoli florets
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
300g macaroni or penne pasta
1 tsp Dijon mustard
150g mature cheddar, grated
100g feta, crumbled
50g Parmesan, grated
Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6.
Place broccoli in a large hot frying pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir fry until it starts to soften.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it’s al dente. Save some of the cooking water.
Next make the sauce – Melt the butter in a medium sized pan on a low heat. When the butter is foaming, add the flour and stir until mixed in. Keep cooking for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Make sure each bit of milk is incorporated before adding the next bit. Keep whisking until smooth, then add the mustard, salt and pepper. Mix ½ the cheddar cheese with the feta into the sauce and stir to combine. Turn off the heat.
Place in a greased oven dish, 26 x 20cm or big enough to hold the pasta. Fork the sauce through the pasta and broccoli with a little of the pasta water. Press it down and scatter the remaining cheese on top, then the Parmesan, and add nutmeg.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the dish is bubbling and the top is golden.
NB. Save calories by adding the broccoli to the pasta when it’s almost ready.