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Warm up this winter with a comforting twist on classic cauliflower cheese. This simple pasta recipe makes it easy to rustle up a delicious dinner, combining roasted cauliflower and penne in a creamy, cheesy sauce, all topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. See method
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Heat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, the stalk into 1cm cubes and the leaves into bite-sized strips or pieces. Tip all the cauliflower onto a large baking tray and drizzle over 2 tbsp oil and some seasoning. Toss well so everything is coated in oil. Roast for 25-30 mins until the florets and stalk pieces are tender and the leaves are crisp and golden. Remove any smaller leaves halfway through cooking if they’re picking up too much colour.
Tear the bread roll into small breadcrumbs or blitz to crumbs in a small food processor. Tip onto a baking tray and toss with 1 tbsp oil and some pepper so the breadcrumbs are well coated. Place in the oven under the cauliflower to toast for 5-10 mins, stirring halfway though, until golden and crunchy.
Meanwhile, whisk the flour with 3 tbsp milk in a small bowl until smooth and lump free. Transfer to a small pan and gradually add the remaining milk with some seasoning. Place over a medium low heat and cook gently for 6-8 mins, stirring continually, until the sauce thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the Cheddar and mix for another 1-2 mins to melt the cheese.
Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 8-10 mins until al dente. Drain well, keeping 50ml cooking water. Tip back into the pan over a low heat and pour in the cheese sauce and the roasted cauliflower. Mix everything well to coat in the cheese sauce. Add the reserved cooking water if your sauce is too thick. Serve in shallow bowls scattered with the crunchy breadcrumbs.
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