Wholewheat macaroni cheese with goat’s cheese, broccoli and walnuts

Wholewheat macaroni cheese with goat’s cheese, broccoli and walnuts

I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to sing the praises of macaroni cheese to convince you that it is A Good Thing. But here I go anyway: it’s warm, comforting, gooey, carby, a little salty and creamy with a crunch on top. Make it, enjoy it and go back for seconds.

Ingredients – serves 6

  • 400g wholewheat macaroni
  • 1 broccoli head – chopped
  • 4 tbsp wholewheat plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 230g mature cheddar – grated
  • 230g squidgy goat’s cheese – roughly chopped or crumbled
  • 50g walnut halves – roughly broken

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. After the pasta’s been boiling for a couple of minutes, add the broccoli.
  3. When the pasta is cooked, remove it from the heat, drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Make a roux for the sauce by melting the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the flour, Keep mixing with a wooden spoon until a paste is formed. This is the roux. Go you!
  5. Remove the roux from the heat and gradually pour in the milk, whisking all the while.
  6. Pop the sauce pan back over the heat, stirring continuously, to thicken the sauce.
  7. When the sauce is thick and smooth, add 130g of the grated cheddar and 130g of the chopped goat’s cheese.
  8. Continue to whisk until the cheese has completed melted into the sauce.
  9. Taste test time! Add more cheese and season with pepper if necessary.
  10. Pour the sauce onto the pasta and broccoli. Mix carefully, trying to avoid breaking up the pasta.
  11. Transfer the whole lot to a large oven proof dish and pop it into the oven for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven and add the rest of the grated cheddar and broken up goat’s cheese along with the walnuts.
  13. Bake the whole lot for another 20 minutes, checking that the walnuts don’t burn.
  14. Serve with a simple green salad.

Other possibilities

  • Experiment with cheese – I think it’s good to keep the standard mature cheddar but you could try adding some of your favourite blue or a bit of delicious Gruyère.
  • Try out different veg – cauliflower works but I find that the spongey broccoli ‘leaves’ tend to soak up the cheese sauce a little better. Leeks would be good.
  • Crunchy breadcrumbs – top with slightly stale breadcrumbs instead of walnuts for a different kind of crunch.
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Yum.

9 Comments

  1. Wholewheat macaroni is a great idea. Love the broccoli and walnut additions!

    Also the milk can be plant milk for added lightness. And of course you can substitute the butter and cheese for vegan alternatives. (I am not a vegan – in fact I am a cheese lover – but due to being lactose-intolerant, I do love vegan.).

  2. We love the sound of walnuts with macaroni!! Yummy!

  3. Ooh I love the sound of this – such a great twist on mac and cheese 🙂 I’m always on the hunt for wholemeal macaroni but it seems much harder to find than other wholemeal pasta shapes, where did you get yours? x

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