I call this dish my Three Cs pasta bake because, apart from the pasta, its three primary ingredients are cauliflower, corn, and cheese.
It could equally earn the name by being child-friendly, creamy, comfort food.
You can choose which set of Cs you like best.
Three Cs pasta bake
- 50g butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 300g tasty cheese, grated*
- 100g parmesan, grated (optional, but yummy)
- 1/4 large head of cauliflower, finely chopped
- kernels from 2 cobs corn (or a tin of corn kernels is fine)
- 2 cups small macaroni (or stellini, risoni, or other small pasta)
*(you can use any full flavoured cheese for this. I was mid-conversation with Arty when I purchased the cheese last time I made it, and accidentally picked up some kind of weird crumbly cheddar with caramelised onion in it. It still worked.)
- Preheat oven to 180ºc.
- Place pasta and cauliflower in boiling water, and cook until the pasta is al dente. By then, the cauliflower will be tender too. Drain and set aside.
- Place butter and flour in a medium saucepan, and cook, stirring until butter is melted, begins to bubble, and go slightly brown.
- Add milk to saucepan, 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring constantly. Continue until you have a thick, creamy sauce.
- Turn off heat, add half of your grated tasty cheese, and continue to stir until this has been incorporated into the sauce.
- Place cauliflower, pasta, and corn kernels in a casserole dish, and pour the sauce over it. Stir to combine.
- Sprinkle remaining cheeses over the top and bake for 20 – 30 mins, until cheese is golden and bubbling.
- Serve immediately.
This dish is perfect for kids who are suspicious of greens. You’ll get them eating a whole serve of veggies without even realising it.
It’s also great for grown ups in need of a bit of carb-y comfort. An excellent choice to bring to a friend who needs a care package.