This is a recipe which I came up with a couple of weeks ago, with my three-year-old daughter (who must take at least 50% of the credit!), and have since made it again, as it was such a success. I think the combination of pasta with nuts generally works well, and of course provides a double-whammy of protein and energy…
Serves 4 – 6
200g dried pasta (I used penne for this)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and finely diced
1 large cauliflower, cut into small florets
3 tbs olive oil
100g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
75g raw cashew nuts, roughly chopped
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
50g plain white flour
2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. When temperature is reached, add the cauliflower florets and diced sweet potato to a large baking tray with the olive oil and seasoning. Mix well and roast for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until roughly half way to al dente (4-5 minutes).
3. In a separate saucepan, make the cheese sauce by melting the butter and then gently adding the flour, milk and 80g of the cheese, whisking continuously until combined. Season and add the oregano.
4. Combine the drained pasta with the mushrooms, cashew nuts and roasted vegetables. Transfer to a large casserole dish and pour over the cheese sauce. Add the remaining grated cheese and bake on 200C for approximately 20 minutes until lightly browned.
5. Serve at once with a green salad or garlic bread.