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50 mins
Cauliflower and Bacon Pasta Recipe

Cauliflower and Bacon Pasta

Graham

Recipe by  

Cauliflower and Bacon Pasta - just full of great ingredients in one pasta bake. This family-friendly gratin is both comforting and filling. You can use any pasta that you prefer. Personally, I like to use macaroni or elbow macaroni in this recipe. I guess it just works for me.

This recipe assumes you will make your own cheese sauce. However, if you don't feel confident, or if you want to gain a little time, by all means use a packet cheese sauce and stir in a little mustard at the end.

      Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients for Cauliflower and Bacon Pasta

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Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
Serves 4:
8 oz
streaky bacon
10 oz
dried pasta (macaroni by preference)
1 medium
cauliflower
1 oz
butter
1 oz
plain flour
10 fl oz
milk
1 teaspoon
Dijon mustard
5 oz
grated Cheddar cheese
1
soft wholemeal roll, whizzed to breadcrumbs

 

How to Cook Cauliflower and Bacon Pasta

  1. Heat the grill to high and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Grill the bacon slices for 5 mins or until crispy, then drain on kitchen paper and cut into small pieces.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Cook the pasta and the cauliflower together in the salted water following pack instructions (usually about 7-8 minutes). At this point, the cauliflower should be just tender. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water.
  3. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat, then stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time. Gradually stir in the milk, mixing well between each addition. Bring to a simmer, then cook for a few minutes until thickened. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the mustard and half the grated cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
  4. Tip the pasta and cauliflower back into the pan along with the reserved cooking water. Add the cheese sauce and the bacon bits. Stir well and then transfer the mix to a baking dish. Mix together the breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese and sprinkle over the pasta. Cook for 5 minutes under the grill until browned. Serve with a salad, if you like, or just on its own.

 
Graham GRAHAM'S HOT TIP:
The only way to know if any pasta is done is to taste it. It should be al dente, or firm to the bite. The more pasta cooks, the gummier it gets, so if it sticks to the wall of your mouth it's probably overdone.
 
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