Cauliflower Cheese

A good value family favourite.

5 star rating based on 421 reviews

Ingredients for 4

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1 headcauliflower (500 grams)
300 gramsfusili
200 gramscheddar cheese
120 gramsham (cooked, sliced)
50 gramsbutter
50 gramsplain flour
1 teaspoonsalt (6 grams)
1/8 teaspoonground black pepper (0.4 grams)
1/8 teaspoonnutmeg, grated (0.2 grams)
1000 mlsmilk
1 1/2 teaspoonolive oil (8 mls)
Salt content: 0.3% (by weight, not counting salt in other ingredients)


Preparation time: 60 minutes. See step-by-step instructions below.

Best with a salad and a glass of wine.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Recipe PhotoHere is our lovely cauliflower - straight from my local famer's market! Take off the green leaves and cut back the stem. This one should be about right for four people.
Recipe PhotoNow cut off the individual roses and wash them in cold water.
Recipe PhotoThen cut the remaining stem into 5mm thick slices - don't waste it.
Recipe PhotoPut the cauliflower into a sizeable saucepan, add some salt and about 1cm / 1/2 inch of water. Bring to a boil and steam the cauliflower with the lid closed for about 9 minutes.
Recipe PhotoIn the meantime, bring the water for the pasta to a boil (you should use pasta weight x 10 amounts of water), add half of the salt and the olive oil. Add the pasta and boil until "al dente" - follow the instructions on your pasta package.
Recipe PhotoWhilst the cauliflower is steaming and your pasta is boiling, grate your cheese with a coarse grater.
Recipe PhotoPut the cauliflower into an oven-proof dish that is big enough. You can cut the roses into 2 or 3 parts if they are too big - this is especially important if you have children as they won't like large chunks of cauliflower!
Recipe PhotoWhen the pasta is done, drain is in a sieve and add it to the dish with the cauliflower. Distribute the pasta and the cauliflower evenly.
Recipe PhotoNow cut your ham into squares (I'm using smoked ham here, which also works well).Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 4
Recipe PhotoTime to make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Recipe PhotoWhen the butter has melted, add the flour and stir vigorously with a whisk or a wooden spoon.
Recipe PhotoWhisk until the butter/flour mixture is nice and even and changes colour slightly.
Recipe PhotoNow add small amounts of milk, whisk again until the mixture thickens, and add more milk. You will want your hob on a fairly high setting for this and proceed quickly.
Recipe PhotoOnce all the milk is added, bring to a boil again.
Recipe PhotoAdd salt, pepper and nutmeg. Take it easy on the salt as we will add cheese later. Also, the ham will contain a fair amount of salt ...
Recipe PhotoNow add half the grated cheese and whisk until the cheese has dissolved. Take the saucepan off the hob.
Recipe PhotoSpread the ham on top of the cauliflower and pasta.
Recipe PhotoThen add your white sauce - distribute it evenly.
Recipe PhotoLast but not least, distribute the other half of the grated cheese on top. Put the dish into your pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes (or until it looks like in the picture below - don't burn it :-).
Recipe PhotoVoila - your finished cauliflower cheese. Very popular with my kids!