Leftovers Pasta Bake with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
This flour-free sauce relies on the creamy sweet flesh (once cooked) of cauliflower to thicken. Although quite different to a classic white sauce it brings structure to the pasta bake with a lighter texture that works surprisingly well.
250gpasta spirals – can use gluten-free pasta
Small head of broccoli or a small bunch of kale
About 400g leftover roasted chicken or smoked fish,shredded
Creamy cauliflower sauce
Small head of cauliflower,about 800g, roughly chopped
1 ½cupsmilk or vegetable stock
A handful of grated parmesan
A squeeze of lemon juice
½cupgrated cheddar cheese
Handful sunflower seeds
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander, toss with olive oil, and set aside.
Steam the broccoli or kale (if not leftover), place in a saucepan, and add a splash of water and a generous pinch of salt. Cover and cook over a moderate heat until just tender. It will cook more in the oven so don't overcook. Drain any cooking water (there won't be much), and set aside.
To make the cauliflower sauce, place the cauliflower pieces, milk or stock and salt into a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer and cook until very soft. Remove from the heat and use a stick blender or blender to puree until smooth.
Add the cracked pepper, nutmeg, parmesan, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust flavour with extra seasoning, parmesan or lemon juice as needed.
Add the cooked pasta, shredded chicken or smoked fish, and vegetables to the sauce and combine well. Pour into a 25x30cm baking dish and scatter with grated cheese and seeds. Bake for 30 minutes until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot with a green salad or coleslaw.