Cauliflower Cheese (with Pasta)

The weather is cold.   You’ve had it with fatty, rich Christmas fare.   Let this simple Cauliflower Cheese with Pasta come to your rescue.   This dish feeds two people very well indeed as a main dish or can be served as an accompaniment to a main meal (roast beef with all the trimmings, say).


  • One medium to large Cauliflower
  • A couple of handfuls of Penne Pasta
  • 2 – 3 rashers of good bacon (trimmed of fat)
  • Grated strong cheddar and parmesan – not too much of either
  • Mustard powder – a good tbsp
  • Paprika
  • Red Chilli powder – a pinch
  • 2 tbsps Olive oil
  • I tbsp of plain flour
  • 1/2 pint of milk


  • Steam a quartered Cauliflower for around 25 mins (I prefer this to boiling the nutrition away)
  • Boil pasta for around 8 minutes – drain and set aside
  • Take the olive oil, add flour, mustard powder and mix into a paste over a low heat.   As soon as the flour appears to turn colour add a dash of milk – mix furiously to prevent lumps – keep adding dashes of milk till you have a creamy looking base for your bechamel sauce
  • Add a small handful of grated cheddar cheese
  • Stir well till all the cheese has melted, turn off the heat and set aside
  • Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a little olive oil – add to the bechamel
  • Now, take your steamed Cauliflower and lay into a flat pie dish, mix in the pasta and pour over the bechamel, grate on a little more cheddar for colour, dust some paprika over along with a little red chilli powder and slam into the oven at gas 6 (180 C) for around 20 minutes …

It’s a stand alone meal with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, the tang of mustard, the savoury bite of cheese and though it all the green freshness of the Cauliflower …

If you want to make this dish richer add more cheese and cream.   If you’re a vegetarian leave out the bacon and use smoked paprika instead of ordinary paprika to round out the flavours.