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:
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 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)
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.