Cauliflower pasta bake with bacon and mushrooms is a winner. Itʼs like a combination of cauliflower cheese and pasta carbonara all in one winning tasty bake. All hot and bubbling, crunchy and oozing with cheesy sauce. Delicious cheesy, creamy sauce with the comfort combination of cauliflower, bacon and mushrooms. Add to that comforting pasta shells and cheese and you’re in delicious heaven.
Letʼs not forget the best part, the golden brown crunchy topping of breadcrumbs. This pasta bake is always a crowd favourite.
The super easy sauce is an all in one method that gives just the right consistency. Pasta bakes need to be oozy and creamy with lots of crusty topping. Not so thick that you end up with a gluggy dry mess.
Cauliflower pasta bake with bacon and mushrooms is a very economical dish to make for a gathering. It freezes like a dream, so can be made ahead ready to grab from the freezer and bake. It pays to make double the recipe for another meal.
This all in one sauce is based on a Delia Smith sauce that we have adapted. The days of making a roux based béchamel are long gone. This sauce is super easy, all in together at the same time and never fails. Weʼve added rich and spicy blue cheese that marries so well with the cauliflower, bacon and mushrooms.
Whatʼs your favorite pasta bake recipe?Print
Cauliflower pasta bake with bacon and mushrooms is a winner. It’s like a combination of cauliflower cheese and pasta carbonara all in one winning tasty pasta bake.
- 1 pint (600 ml) full cream milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fine white pepper
- 1/2 ounce (40 g) butter
- 1 1/2 ounces (40 g) all purpose (plain) flour
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 ounces (120 g) blue cheese (if you don’t like blue cheese use a good tasty cheddar instead – see note)
- 10 ounces (300 g) dried pasta shells
- 14 ounces (400 g) cauliflower florets – about half of a medium sized cauliflower
- 2 ounces (50 g) butter
- 10 ounces (300 g) streaky bacon sliced into 1/2 inch (1 1/4 cm ) pieces
- 7 ounces (200 g) mushrooms sliced – about 6 medium sized mushrooms
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheddar mixed cheese
- 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- place milk, butter, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg into a heavy based saucepan over medium heat
- heat gently, whisking until sauce thickens around 6-8 minutes
- crumble cheese into sauce and stir through till melted into sauce
- put aside till ready to use
- fill a large pot with water and bring to boil
- add cauliflower and cook for 3-4 minutes
- scoop cauliflower out of pot with a sieve and refresh under cold water. Use same boiling water to cook pasta shells
- cook pasta in boiling water for 3-4 minutes shorter than recommended cooking time – pasta will finish cooking in oven
- drain pasta and rinse under cold water to halt any further cooking
- melt butter in pot over medium heat and add bacon stirring for 2-3 minutes
- add sliced mushrooms to bacon and continue cooking for a further 3-4 minutes
- in a large bowl add mushrooms, bacon, cauliflower and blue cheese sauce giving it all a good mix
- stir through pasta shells
- tip mixture into a 14 inch (35 cm) x 8 inch (20 cm) baking dish
- sprinkle cheese evenly over top
- sprinkle panko crumbs over top
- place into a preheated 350 f (180 c) oven and bake till golden and bubbling – about 35-40 minutes
- serve and enjoy!
- use any blue cheese you like the flavour of. We used an Australian blue cheese called Tasmanian Heritage Classic Blue which has a rich and creamy texture, complemented by a sweet blue flavour.
- pasta bake can be prepared a day or two in advance
- pasta bake can be frozen and thawed ready to cook at a later date
- Category: Baking
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian