broccoli, cheese and pasta bake

broccoli cheese

broccoli cheese

It’s been raining now for the past 2 weeks and I, along with my collection of animals, am patiently waiting to board the arc when it floats past.  Until then, I have to make do with cooking up a storm with what’s currently languishing in my cupboards (as I’m refusing to don my galoshes and step foot outside in this weather).  So, with some purple sprouting broccoli and some various odds and ends of cheese I made a little pasta bake which went a little something like this:

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Pasta (I used conchiglie as that was what was in my cupboard, but penne or fusilli would work) – enough for two people

Broccoli (I used purple sprouting – again, enough for two people)

Half an onion (finely chopped)

15g butter

15g plain flour

150 ml milk

1/2 tablespoon of whole grain mustard

100g cheese (I used a mixture of grated cheddar, some gorgonzola and stuck in a parmesan-end for good measure) plus additional cheese for the topping (I used some grated cheddar and parmesan for this)

Breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Cook the pasta, together with the chopped onion in the boiling water.  In the last 3 minutes of cooking, chuck the broccoli into the mix.  When cooked, drain, reserving a tablespoon of the cooking liquid and set aside.  Heat the grill to a medium temperature.

Heat the butter in the saucepan and when melted, add the flour and cook for a minute or so before gradually adding the milk, stirring all the time.  Bring the mixture to the boil and then bring down to simmer for a couple of minutes. Before stirring in the mustard and the cheese (remembering to reserve some cheese for the topping).  Melt the cheese down a little.

Put the pasta mixture and the sauce into an ovenproof dish, scatter over the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs, with a little pepper and salt on top and grill for 4-5 minutes or until the top is golden and yummy looking.

saint vernier cheese

My usual choice of online writing tool has gone AWOL. Actually, it’s in San Francisco with The Crow so I do know where it is, but it wasn’t exactly granted leave to go there either! As much as WordPress tries to make it easy to upload posts via their iPhone and iPad apps, the functionality isn’t quite as good and I find typing on Apple things slightly arduous (although this doesn’t detract from my deep love of all things Apple for some reason). So anyway, until my laptop and TC return, I will keep Comestibilis updated with some mini-bites – a little of what I’m finding and liking right now… In any case, I’m not really cooking right now as cooking for one isn’t nearly as fun (and I would get seriously fat eating it all by myself!). I discovered this cheese last weekend, it was so good I had to buy more… So much for the trying to keep the lard of though – but in this case I’m willing to make an exception. It’s called Saint Vernier – the cheese is made from the milk of local Montbélliardes cows and it’s rind is washed with a white wine made from the Savagnin grape. Mmm, it’s little lump of gooey, tasty loveliness.

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saturday night at brinkleys

a flaming birthday brownie

a flaming birthday brownie

Saturday night saw me celebrating RP’s birthday at Brinkley’s in Chelsea.  There was a good atmosphere there and I think we all had a good time.  As there were quite a few of us we were given a limited menu to choose from – which is to be expected really.  I had a starter of fig, prosciutto and mozzarella, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  The fig was good – perfectly ripe, although too cold – it felt as though it had been taken straight from the fridge.  The proscuitto was as expected – although only one slice!  How stingy!  The mozzarella was pretty average – not as tasty as it could be and a little on the rubbery side – it tasted like supermarket standard.  The whole plate was fair, but could have done with a touch of olive oil to finish it off.

My main was a rack of lamb.  It wasn’t too bad – slightly overdone for my liking, but it was a good-sized portion, and was quite tasty. For dessert I chose a selection of Italian cheeses.  I received 4 small slices of cheese and 4 biscuits (again, slightly stingy IMO).  The cheeses weren’t anything amazing, but perfectly good.  But actually all in all, for the amount it cost us for food and for drink (and we certainly consumed a lot of wine), I think it was very good value for money, especially as I was expecting “Chelsea” prices.  And sometimes, just sometimes, a good night out with friends can more than make up for any lackings in the food department!

a simple supper

cheesy pasta supper

5 cheese tortelloni

I am always surprised at how good Sainsbury’s fresh, filled pasta is… perfect for a quick supper when you’ve got back home late and all you want to do is eat as soon as possible.

Tonight was 5 cheese tortelloni with my homemade tomato sauce, (thanks to the vast quantities that I still have left over (as ordered by Allegra and Paul from my Sunday’s efforts) pancetta and plenty of parmigiano. Quick, easy, filling, tasty and ever so mmm.