Joe says: "Lower carb but full of indulgence, this creamy pasta bake is packed with cauliflower for a lighter twist! Make your creamy sauce from crème fraîche so it's nice and easy then top it all with crispy, cheesy breadcrumbs and a cheeky sprinkling of bacon lardons. I'm in!'
This creamy and filling cauliflower pasta dish will soon become a family favourite – and it’s ridiculously easy to make. It’s a healthier version of your traditional cheesy pasta bake. Cauliflower can be love or hate with little ones but when added to this pasta bake and covered in cheese, no one will be able to resist! This recipe serves four, but it’s easy to scale up and make enough for leftovers the next day. Pasta bake makes a delicious leftover lunch, served hot or cold, with fresh salad leaves. Tuck in!
- 2 cauliflower heads
- 2 garlic cloves
- 80g cheddar cheese
- 10g chives
- 200g conchiglie pasta
- 200g bacon lardons
- 2 tbsps Dijon mustard
- 60g panko breadcrumbs
- 200g crème fraîche
Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C (fan)/ 425°F/ Gas 7. Boil a full kettle. Add the conchiglie to a pot of boiled water with a pinch of salt, bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for an initial 4 min.
Meanwhile, chop the cauliflower heads into small florets. After 4 min, add the cauliflower florets to the pasta and cook for a further 6-7 min or until everything is cooked with a slight bite. Once cooked, drain, reserving 350ml starchy cooking water from the pasta pot and leave to steam dry in the sieve. Reserve the pot.
While the pasta cooks, grate the cheddar cheese. Combine the grated cheese with the panko breadcrumbs – these are your cheesy breadcrumbs. Peel and finely chop (or grate) the garlic.
Return the reserved pot to a medium heat with 2 tsps butter. Once hot, add 2 tsp flour and the chopped garlic cook for 1 min or until a sandy paste forms. Add the starchy pasta water and whisk until smooth. Once smooth, remove the pot from the heat and add the crème fraîche, Dijon mustard and a grind of pepper – this is your sauce.
Add the drained pasta and cauliflower to the sauce and stir it all together – this is your creamy cauliflower pasta.
Transfer the creamy cauliflower pasta to an oven-proof dish. Top with the cheesy breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the bacon lardons and put the dish in the oven for 15-20 min or until the bacon is cooked and the breadcrumbs are golden
While the creamy cauliflower pasta is baking, chop the chives finely. Use the rest of this time to clear up, set the table, have a cup of tea or simply chill!
Leave the bacon & cauliflower pasta bake to stand for a few mins before serving. Garnish with the chopped chives. Enjoy!
From recipe box company Gousto’s Joe Wicks range. Gousto delivers precise ingredients and easy-to-follow recipe cards, with free delivery, 40 weekly recipes and prices from £2.98 per person. More information at www.gousto.co.uk