Superpower mac n cheese

Serves 6

  • 1 large leek
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 400g broccoli
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • ½ a bunch of fresh thyme or 1tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 litre milk
  • 450g dried macaroni (or any dried pasta)
  • 200g mature Cheddar cheese
  • 100g fresh/frozen spinach
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  2. Trim, halve and wash the leek and peel the garlic, then finely slice with the broccoli stalks, reserving the florets for later.
  3. Place the sliced veg in a large casserole pan over a medium heat with the butter, then strip in the thyme leaves and cook for 15 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly.
  4. Stir in the flour, followed slowly by the milk, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring regularly.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then drain.
  6. Grate most of the Cheddar into the sauce and mix well. Tip into a blender, add the spinach and whiz until smooth – you may need to work in batches.
  7. Season to perfection with salt and black pepper, then stir through the pasta and broccoli florets, loosening with a splash of milk, if needed.
  8. Transfer to a 25cm x 35cm baking dish and grate over the remaining Cheddar. Bake for 30 minutes, or until beautifully golden and bubbling.

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