Ham and Cauliflower Pasta Bake

This can hardly claim any originality, but there are a few minor flourishes that make it slightly different to others of its ilk that I have listed here. It is also a good one-pot type meal, and if made for two [as I have outlined below] can be done in two dishes so you can have one tonight and the other in two or three nights provided that you keep it covered and in the fridge.

 

Ingredients.

1 cup broccoli florets.

2 cups cauliflower florets.

¼ cup oil.

3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped.

3 cups short pasta e.g. spirals or penne.

50g butter.

4 tblsp plain flour.

2 cups milk.

1 cup grated tasty cheese.

3 tblsp basil pesto.

¼ tsp grated nutmeg.

½ cup unsalted cashew nuts.

½ cup grated cheese.

 

Method.

Preheat the over to 180°C. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and parboil the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside in a bowl. Refill the pot with salted water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the packaging. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the garlic until golden then add the vegetables and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes. Remove to the bowl. Drain the pasta and add to the vegetable mix, stir to combine and transfer to two baking dishes.

Melt the butter in a pot over a medium flame and add the flour. Stir until fully incorporated and frothing then slowly add the milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick and bubbling and remove from the heat. Stir in the cup of grated cheese, the pesto and the nutmeg until fully combined. Scatter the cashews over the vegetable mix, top with the cheese sauce and scatter with the ½ cup grated cheese. Place the tray[s] in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes then serve.

 

Serve with: A crisp green salad.

 

Serves: 4, or 2 twice.

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