Broccoli and Blue Cheese Pasta Bake
Green vegetables are a great source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the body and helps to maintain a strong immune system.
For the pasta:
120g wholewheat penne pasta
For the topping:
150g broccoli, cut into small florets
20g vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese
For the sauce:
25g unsalted butter
25g plain flour
250ml semi-skimmed milk
50g vegetarian blue cheese
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of ground black pepper
For the salad:
80g salad leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas mark 4.
2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook for 12 minutes, or according to packet instructions, and drain.
3. In a separate saucepan, cook the broccoli florets in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Then drain and plunge the broccoli into cold water to stop it overcooking.
4. In a medium heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter over a low heat, then add the flour, stirring until it forms a paste. Stir for a minute until the flour turns a sandy texture and colour. Gradually add the milk, stirring well. Simmer until the sauce thickens to a rich consistency.
5. Add the blue cheese, mustard and pepper to the sauce and stir through.
6. Add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce and stir until coated.
7. Transfer the broccoli and pasta mixture to an ovenproof ceramic dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and the vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese, then bake until the top is golden brown.
8. Serve with salad leaves dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
© The Vegetarian Society, recipe from Happy, Healthy and Delicious