Now that the cold weather has come, it’s time to enjoy all the warm and comforting foods you have been missing. I was craving this cheesy broccoli mac and cheese I had once from Whole Foods, but didn’t have all the ingredients and the babe was asleep so I couldn’t go out to the store… so I thought about how to satisfy that craving with what I already had at home.
If you know me, I get inspiration from meals I love, but also don’t always have every ingredient, so I improvise quite frequently. I love making substitutions in cooking and baking! I’ll be honest, sometimes they don’t work out quite the way I had envisioned, but this one was different. This one is something we will be making again and again.
I didn’t have broccoli, but I had cauliflower. I didn’t have a ton of cheese, so I added some pesto to give more flavour. I didn’t have macaroni, so I used chickpea rotini. I wanted more colour, so I topped it all off with some sliced tomatoes and threw it in the oven. Ta da! It’s delicious, and packed with protein and flavour. Bonus- even baby O loved it, so we know we have a winner here.
I hope your family enjoys it as much as we did!
Baked Pesto Pasta
1 lb dry pasta
1/2 cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1.5 cups milk
2 cups aged cheddar
3 tbsp pesto
salt to taste
2 tomatoes, sliced
- In a big pot, cook pasta to al dente by directions on the box. In the last 3 minutes of cook time, toss in the cauliflower. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pot, add butter and let it melt. Add in flour and whisk until combined.
- Add in the milk and whisk until smooth and let thicken.
- Add in the cheese and pesto. Stir until the cheese has melted.
- Add in the pasta and cauliflower and stir to combine.
- Transfer everything to a baking dish and top with tomato slices.
- Pop under the broiler until golden brown.
Your Dietitian, Erin