I continue with my quest to try all of the recipes in the Jamie Oliver ‘Veg’ cookbook with this greens mac ‘n’ cheese. I guess it’s one of those recipes you give to kids where you hide the veggies by putting them with some cheese and pasta. My beautiful cat Earl Grey has developed arthritis so we have to hide his medication by soaking his favourite treat with it to get him to eat it. He’s not a super old cat but he has some inbred pedigree Russian blue genes which is fairly ironic being that we adopted him from a litter of kittens belonging to a stray cat that our friend found. We’re also trying to reduce his weight to help the cause which is unfortunately not working as he seems to be as good at dieting as I am.
I changed things up a bit with this recipe by using some Vivera fake bacon strips rather than the almonds in the recipe. I think it would be great if you can find those smoked almonds they seem to love in Spain.
- 1 leek
- 3 cloves garlic
- 400g broccoli
- 40g butter
- 15g fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 litre milk
- 450g macaroni pasta
- 30g parmesan cheese
- 150g mature cheddar cheese
- 100g baby spinach
- a handful of veggie bacon
1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
2.) Slice up the leek and the broccoli stalks, leaving the florets to one side. Heat the butter in a casserole dish and add the veg to the pan. Strip in the thyme leaves and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat.
3.) In the meantime, peel and finely dice the garlic and grate the cheese.
4.) For the last couple of minutes of cooking time, add the garlic to the pan.
5.) Add the milk to the dish and sprinkle over the flour and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes to thicken.
6.) Whilst this is simmering, cook the pasta in another large pan for 5 minutes.
7.) Add the cheese to the milk sauce then blitz this in a blender.
8.) Pour back into the casserole dish and stir in the broccoli florets and the partly cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper and stir.
9.) Sprinkle over some veggie bacon and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.