This dish was inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe, but somewhat different. It’s comforting and warming properties are perfect for these cooler days. I used the romanesco (broccoli or cauliflower, depends what country you’re in I believe) instead of the regular cauliflower variety used in Jamie’s recipe. The Romanesco is a sweet and nutty vegetable and adds plenty of flavour to an otherwise boring (albeit comforting) macaroni cheese. Mine is vegie, but of course you could add ham or pancetta or something similar.
5Acre garlic (2 cloves chopped finely or crushed)
5Acre romanesco cauliflower (the whole thing!)
strong cheddar cheese grated (a good full cup or so)
salt and pepper
pinch of nutmeg
butter, flour and milk for a cheese sauce.
Firstly heat your oven of course. Boil a big pot of salted water. Trim and quarter the romanesco and put in the boiling water (stem down) and add your macaroni. Boil until pasta is al dente and reserve some pasta water for the dish (a good mug full). Drain both. Meanwhile make your roux and then make a white sauce adding cheddar cheese, the garlic and the pinch of nutmeg. Season to taste. Whizz up stale bread into crumbs with a little salt and fresh rosemary.
Pour the pasta and romanesco into a large baking dish. Gently break up the romanesco with a potato masher or tongs until mixed through the pasta. Keeping bite sized pieces of the romanesco. Stir through your cheese sauce and add enough of the reserved pasta water to make it more slippery and smooth and thinner. It will thicken on baking. Top with the bread crumbs and bake until browned and bubbling. Top with some grated parmesan if you wish.
What are you doing with your lovely 5Acre romanesco? or pumpkin? or courgettes? or capsicums? write to Mia at 5acrefarmblog(at)gmail<dot>com. It doesn’t have to be gourmet, but something you cook on a regular basis? Something in your repertoire?
Enjoy your 5Acre Farm vegies, see you soon! 🙂