Macaroni and broccoli cheese with mustard and wilted greens recipe image

Print Macaroni and broccoli cheese with mustard and wilted greens

Have the best of both worlds with this mac’n’broccoli cheese. It is an unabashedly comforting dish for a winter’s night, redeemed by some dark wilted greens. The keys to a good white sauce are cooking the flour for a few minutes when you make the roux (flour & butter paste) and making sure the milk is warm when you add it. It helps avoid floury lumps but if you find that your sauce is still a little lumpy you can whizz it with a stick blender or in a processor, or pass it through a fine sieve.

Ingredients

  • 500ml milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200g broccoli, cut into 2cm florets
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 150g macaroni pasta
  • 25g butter
  • 30g flour
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 100g grate cheddar
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 40g breadcrumbs
  • 300g cabbage, greens or kale, stripped of any tough stalks
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Fill one saucepan with the milk, bay and 100ml of water. Fill the other with well salted water. Put them both on the heat. When the milk reaches a simmer, turn it off. When the water is at a rolling boil add the broccoli florets and cook for 3 minutes until just tender.
  2. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and add the macaroni. Cook for 12 minutes until tender. Drain the macaroni well and keep it to one side. Give the pan a quick wipe clean. Put the oven on 200˚C/Gas 6 to heat up. Melt the butter in the pan.
  3. Add the flour to the butter. Beat it together to make a smooth paste. Cook it gently for 3-4 minutes until it has a faint biscuity smell. Add half of the warm milk. Using a whisk beat out any lumps and wait for it to start to thicken. Add the rest of the milk and bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Whisk constantly until you have a smooth thickened sauce. Add the mustard and cheddar. Whisk until the cheese melts. Finely grate in a little of the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the macaroni and broccoli to the sauce.
  5. Mix together thoroughly and place in an oven tray. Lay the tomato slices on top of the macaroni. Mix the breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon of oil and spread them over the top. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
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