Doesn’t this just look like a hug on a plate? I absolutely love making this comforting bake, it’s so delicious and warming on a cold winters night.
I’ve used macaroni to bulk it out but if you’re looking for low-carb you can just use the vegetables. I also add pancetta but this is completely optional. Make sure you do have some good cheddar as the sauce is the star of the show!!
Comforting cheesy broccoli, cauliflower and leek bake
- ½ head broccoli
- ½ head cauliflower
- 1 medium leek
- 100g macaroni pasta, cooked
- 200g grated cheddar cheese
- 50g pancetta (optional)
- 40g plain flour
- 40g butter
- ¾ pint milk
- 1 tsp nutmeg
Wash the leek and slice into small rounds. Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into medium sized florets. Place cauliflower and leek into steamer and let steam for 2 mins before adding in the broccoli. Steam for a further 4-5 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
In a new pan, make a roux by melting the butter and then mixing in the flour off the heat. Add the milk slowly on a very low heat, whisking gently to disperse any lumps. Keep whisking and adding the milk until you get a medium-thick sauce. Next, add the grated cheese, nutmeg and a twist of black pepper. BONUS: you can freeze this sauce if you make too much!
If you’re including pancetta, fry it off now and set aside. Now you’re ready to assemble! It’s best to keep adding the sauce throughout to make sure you get an even distribution. Place the cooked macaroni at the bottom of a large oven proof dish and then pour over some of the sauce. Next, add the vegetables and another layer of the sauce, making sure you use a fork or spoon to gentle tease everything around so you don’t get any big air pockets.
Finally, top with the pancetta and a little more of the grated cheese. If everything in the dish is hot from the hob, this should cook in around 30-40 minutes or until the top has gone golden and the sauce is bubbling around the sides.