Vegetable Macaroni Cheese Bake

PREP TIME

10

minutes

TOTAL TIME

40

minutes

SERVINGS

2

(easily doubled for 4)

PREP TIME

10

minutes

TOTAL TIME

40

minutes

SERVINGS

2

servings

Ingredients

  • 3

    oz/80g dried macaroni (or other pasta)

  • 1

    tbsp butter

  • 1

    tbsp plain flour

  • 9

    fl oz/250ml skimmed milk

  • 1

    oz/35g low fat cheddar - grated

  • 1/2

    red bell pepper - deseeded and diced

  • 1/2

    onion - peeled and chopped

  • 5

    oz/150g frozen broccoli florets

  • 4.5

    oz/125g asparagus - chopped

  • salt and pepper

  • 1/2

    oz10g low fat cheddar - grated - to scatter over the top

Directions

Preheat oven to 350f/180c/160cfan/gas 4. Cook pasta according to packet instructions and get on with the rest while it's cooking. Place the frozen broccoli in a microwavable bowl with 3 tbsps water, cover with cling film - pierce the top several times and cook for 4 minutes - set to one side (undrained). Place the red pepper, onion and asparagus in a microwavable bowl with 2 tbsps of water, cover with cling film - pierce the top several times and cook on high power for three minutes - set to one side (undrained). Return the broccoli florets to the microwave and cook for a further 2 minutes. Drain all of the vegetables, and chop the broccoli slightly smaller if you desire (I did) - again, set to one side. Melt the butter in a heavy based pan over a gentle heat and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Pour the milk in a bit at a time, whisking thoroughly throughout each addition until all the milk is in the pan. Season well with a good pinch of salt and ground pepper, then simmer the white sauce very gently for about 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it - the sauce may seem fairly thin at this point, but it thickens up as you add everything to it. Gently stir in the vegetables and the larger portion of grated cheese. Drain the cooked pasta and stir that in too. Spoon it all into a baking dish, scatter with the remaining cheese and cook in the oven until the cheese has melted and is turning golden - about 10 minutes.

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