17 October 2012

Pasta and Cauliflower Bake

This is actually a recipe I tweaked after watching Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals. It’s basically the Cauliflower Macaroni recipe with the addition of Philadelphia cheese, which I add  because it gives the sauce a richer, creamier texture.  I also have to confess that I usually leave out the breadcrumbs because I can never be bothered to get the food processor out, but that’s just me being lazy. I also never use a whole cauliflower head and I don’t bother weighing the pasta, I just use enough florets and pasta to fill my favourite baking dish. I have to be honest, I never measure things when I’m cooking unless I’m making cakes or cookies or bread. Usually I do it by eye and it seems to work. The quantities are from Jamie Oliver, minus the sprigs of rosemary which I don’t like but you could add if you wanted. I don’t know how many it’s supposed to feed but I imagine the Jamie quantities would feed a fair few. I usually cook enough for 2 or 3 so enough for supper and enough for lunch the following day.  It’s also not cooked in the 30 minute way because I love to cook, I find it relaxing to potter in the kitchen with a glass of wine and my favourite DVD in the background  and I feel a bit cheated if I have to rush around like a lunatic when I’m cooking. You could always use broccoli instead of cauliflower or even a mixture of both. 

I know the dish looks a bit messy ...... I got a bit carried away and the cheese went everywhere ..... oooops :-)

Pasta and Cauliflower Bake

8 rashers of bacon or pancetta
500gms Pasta
1 Head of cauliflower
1 tub of Phliadelphia cheese ( I like the garlic and herb one but whatever you like)
250gms Mature Cheddar
1 250g tub of crème fraiche
2 Cloves of garlic crushed
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Parmesan cheese to top.


Divide the cauliflower into smallish florets and put into a saucepan of salted water along with the pasta and cook until almost done and the pasta is slightly al dente still.

In the meantime grill the bacon until crispy and when done chop into pieces.

Drain the pasta and cauliflower, retaining about 1 cupful of the cooking liquid and place the pasta and cauliflower into an ovenproof dish.

Gently cook  the garlic in a pan with a tiny bit of oil and then put the cooking liquid back into the saucepan and add the bacon, Philadelphia cheese,  grated cheddar and crème fraiche to make a cheesey sauce. If at this point the sauce is really thick, add a little milk to make a sauce that is kind of like double cream. It will thicken in the oven when it’s cooking.

Pour the sauce over the pasta and cauliflower and mix the grated parmesan with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top.

Cover with foil and cook in the oven for about 20 mins until the pasta and cauliflower are tender and then take the foil off and brown the top.


  1. Mmmm! I love Cauliflower Cheese and I like the idea of the Philly to make the sauce yummier. I too rarely bother with breadcrumbs on this sort of dish, but try to be able to from time to time by doing a big batch of crumbs and keeping them in a bag in the freezer. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. That looks great could do that for dad x