The last few days have been absolutely freezing in London. I don’t know about you but for me when I am cold all I want is comfort food. This recipe comes from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals and it’s one of my favourite things to eat when I need a bit of a warm, stodgy cheer-up. In the original recipe it comes with all kinds of side things but I find it to be just as delicious all on its own (and a lot more manageable to knock out in 30 minutes!).
Cauliflower mac ‘n cheese
Adapted from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals
8 rashers of smoked pancetta
1 medium head of cauliflower, large leaves trimmed off
4 slices of rustic country bread
A few sprigs of rosemary
300ml creme fraiche
250g mature cheddar cheese, grated
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Turn your oven to 200 degrees and fill and boil your kettle. Put the rashers of bacon in a large baking dish big enough to hold all the pasta. Put the dish in the top of the oven.
Quarter the cauliflower and put it at the bottom of a large saucepan with a lid. Add the macaroni and cover with boiling water. Add a lug of olive oil and some salt. Put the lid on and bring to the boil. Cook according to the macaroni package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, tear up the bread and put it in your food processor or blender with the blade attachment. Add a good lug of olive oil, the picked leaves from the rosemary and the pancetta from the baking dish which should be cooked by now. Process until you have a fine crumb consistency.
Drain the pasta and cauliflower over a large bowl and reserve the pasta water. Pour the drained pasta and cauliflower into the baking dish you used for the bacon and place on the stove top over a medium heat, add just short of 400ml of the reserved pasta water, the creme fraiche, the cheese and the garlic. Break down the cauliflower a bit with a potato masher and then stir everything together until the cheese has melted in. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top the pasta with the bread crumb topping and then pop the baking dish back into the oven for 8 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Serves 6 – 8