Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Crusty pasta and broccoli cheese bake

My intention last night was  to make a broccoli and cheese soufflé, when it came to meal time I decided to look for an easier recipe that I knew everyone would eat and enjoy. This may not look that appealing but it was very tasty for a meat free Monday evening. I used the recipe as a guideline and followed some of the suggestions from readers of the good food website that had made and tweaked the recipe. The suggestions were to use less pasta and more broccoli. Fry the red onion which I did, I also added a tin of tuna for a little more flavour. I only had a small amount of creme fraiche so I used some low fat natural yoghurt to make up 200g. I sprinkled a few chilli flakes over too and baked the meal rather than using the grill. 


400g penne or macaroni
1 red onion, roughly chopped
250g head broccoli, stalks chopped and florets halved
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tsp French or German mustard
200g pot half fat crème fraiche
100g grated mature Gruyere or cheddar
small handful parsley leaves, chopped
4 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs (or put 1 slice crustless white bread through a food processor)
½ tsp dried mixed herbs or thyme

Boil the pasta, onion and broccoli stalks in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for about 7 mins, then add the florets and cook for another 3 mins. Reserve about 400ml of the water, then drain the pasta and vegetables.
Return the reserved water to the pan and dissolve the stock cube, whisk in the mustard and crème fraîche, then season to taste. Bring to the boil. Stir in the drained pasta, vegetables and half the cheese, mixing until melted. Stir in the parsley.
Heat the grill for 3 mins. Tip the pasta and vegetables into a shallow, ovenproof dish. Mix together the remaining cheese, breadcrumbs and herbs, then scatter on top.
Stand the dish on the base of a grill pan and grill for about 3 mins, turning if it starts to brown. Keep watching so the top doesn’t start to burn or the cheese will toughen. Remove and leave to stand for 5 mins before serving.

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