With few foods having such a rich and elaborate history as cheese, it’s one that truly deserves to have a special day. World Cheese Day, feted on June 4, is a celebration of the many different types of cheese in the world, from versatile Cheddars and stringy Mozzarellas to mild, creamy Bries and pungent blue cheeses. Whether it’s due to the milk used or the environment the cheese is made in, there really is a whole world of unique flavours, textures and smells out there.
To mark the day, we’re sharing a delicious dish that has the dairy-packed comfort food as one of its star ingredients. Created by Chef Chris Baber in partnership with Marks & Spencer, it is a restaurant-quality yet still quick to prepare version of a family favourite that’s been around for ages, Mac & Cheese. As well as having the beneficial protein, calcium and vitamins from that sea of molten, hot Cheddar cheese, it’s also filled with vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and peas, perfect for getting your little ones to pack in some extra green goodness!
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
- 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 broccoli, cut into florets
- 6 sundried tomatoes, plus 1 tbsp of reserved oil
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 250g macaroni pasta (or any shapes)
- 100g frozen peas
- 75g butter
- 75g flour
- 750ml milk
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 250g lighter cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7.
- Place the cauliflower and broccoli on to a baking tray, drizzle over 1 tbsp of the oil from the sundried tomatoes, toss together, and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the veggies begin to char and are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, to make the crumb topping, finely chop the sundried tomatoes and mix in a bowl with the breadcrumbs.
- Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Add the peas for the final three minutes, before draining and setting aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir constantly for two minutes until you have a paste. Then gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly until you have a smooth sauce.
- Once all the milk is added, add the mustard and salt and pepper, simmer for a few minutes, still stirring, then add the cheese and stir until melted.
- Remove the sauce from the heat, add the cooked pasta, peas, cauliflower and broccoli and stir until everything is evenly coated.
- Transfer to an ovenproof dish, evenly scatter over the crumb topping and pop under a hot, preheated grill for a few minutes until golden and bubbling.