Despite being Spring, there have been a lot of gales recently across the UK, meaning there’s still been a nip in the air. We at Season’s Eatings have been living on the slightly unhealthy side of life, with extra desserts and plenty of cheese. All justifiable by this weather of course. However it does mean we have an excuse to bake our ever-favourite comfort food: Mac n Cheese.
There are so many flavour combinations for Mac n Cheese, and we always find it to be a favourite amongst friends. We love it with pancetta and courgette (previous recipe here), but this month we’ve made ours with leek and cauliflower as they’re readily available from the local greengrocer and supermarkets. We’ve also added a hit of mustard and smoked paprika, so there’s still a tingling warmth in the aftertaste.
The below makes enough for three greedy people (with a little left over for seconds), although if you serve with some crusty French bread as well as the salad, you could stretch the number of servings to four.
We’ve taken a shortcut using a pre-made cheese sauce (it is a mid-week dinner after all), so feel free to use any other brand you prefer or even dare to make your own if you have time. Also because this is a shop bought sauce, we found that there’s enough salt in it, so you don’t need to add further seasoning.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 2 small leeks
- ½ cauliflower
- 1 tub Sainsbury’s Three Cheese Sauce
- 200g macaroni
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Large handful of grated cheddar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC, fill the kettle and put on to boil then tip the macaroni into a medium-sized pan ready to be shortly bathed in the hot water over a medium heat, as soon as the kettle has boiled.
- Wash the leeks and cut into 1cm thick pieces. Peel the leaves off the cauliflower and cut the veg into mouth sized pieces. After the macaroni has been bubbling away for 8 minutes, add the vegetables to the pan and leave to boil for a further 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, mix the mustard powder and smoked paprika into the cheese sauce. Once the veg are slightly softer than al dente, drain the pan of water and mix the sauce into the pasta and veg.
- Transfer into a baking dish, sprinkle with grated cheddar and cook in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes. If you want the topping to be extra crispy, turn the temperature up to 220ºC for the last five minutes of cooking.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving with a light salad.