For my birthday I received the Jamie Oliver 30 minute meals book. It is unlikely that I will ever actually do one of the complete meals, but there are plenty of great recipes to try. One of the first ones that stood out to me was the Cauliflower macaroni. It looked tasty and had very cheap ingredients. Considering it was part of a 30minute meal I’d say it takes about 25minutes to prepare and cook, with plenty of time for some chatting (or desert making) in the process. It tasted great, and I’d say its good way to hide vegetables. Who doesn’t love Mac and Cheese!? The crunchy was my favourite and you could do it with or without the bacon. The original recipe had pancetta instead of the bacon, I didn’t have any and I have a freezer full of bacon which worked great instead. Also, I swapped creme fraiche for sour cream, which is pretty similar. It is so easy to buy sour cream here, and not so easy or cheap to buy creme fraiche.
I hope you try this one. Its super easy, delicious, and cheap. Oh and it makes enough to feed about 5,000 people (…8)
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
(time: 25mins, feeds: 8)
6 rashers of bacon
1 large head of cauliflower
500g dried macaroni
250g cheddar cheese grated
4 thick slices of old bread
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 cloves of garlic crushed
250g sour cream
Salt and Pepper and olive oil
Preheat oven to 220c
Place a large pot of salted water onto the stove and bring to the boil.
Place the rashers of bacon in a large baking dish (big enough for the finished mac and cheese) and place in the hot oven. Allow to crisp up.
While the bacon is cooking, trim the cauliflower of the leaves and stalk and roughly chop into medium sized florets. Add the pasta and cauliflower to the pot of boiling water. Return to the boil and cook until the pasta is cooked but still a little on the firm side. Drain the pasta and cauliflower and keep a few cups of the pasta water for later.
By this stage the bacon should be done. Remove the bacon from the oven and then the baking dish and set aside. Keep the oven on. Put the cauliflower and macaroni into the baking dish.
In a food processor combine the bread, rosemary, garlic, cooked bacon and a little olive oil. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the cheese and the sour cream to the pasta with about a cup of the pasta water and mix through with some salt and pepper to taste. Add a little more pasta water if you think you need to cook your pasta a little more, or add less water if you pasta is fully cooked. Once combined, pour the breadcrumbs over the top and spread evenly.
Put the cauliflower mac and cheese in the oven and bake for 8-10minutes or until the breadcrumbs on top are nicley browned and crispy and the macaroni and cheese is bubbling.
Serve while still hot!