Dinners, Recipes
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Broccoli and Pear Pasta Bake

Yesterday was cheat day, more commonly known as Faturday by the slow carb diet community. Last week, I hadn’t planned for my cheat day and found myself feeling kind of unsatisfied by the end of it all. So I put due care and attention into the carb festival we experienced yesterday and came out the other end wholly pleased with myself.

This recipe is not pro healthy balanced diet, but it has a welcome place in the slow carb diet. It’s exactly the spike in carbohydrates that the body needs to reset and continue losing weight the following week (which I think is the whole point of cheat day, but I’m still yet to read the whole book).

The bake was inspired by a pasta combo often served at my office canteen, but I’ve poshed it up a bit to ensure optimum decadence. It’ll serve four very greedy people or six sensible portion lovers.

500g cavatappi
50g butter
50g plain flour
600ml whole milk
150g blue cheese (Saint Agur is perfect)
200g extra mature cheddar, grated
500g frozen broccoli
2 conference pears, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes

  1. Heat your oven to Gas Mark 4 (conversions here)
  2. Grease the biggest oven dish you have with a little butter.
  3. You want to get a few things going on at the same time now to ensure you’re ready for everything to be bundled into the oven once the sauce is done, so.. Steam the broccoli according to pack instructions, and add the pears when there’s five minutes left on the steaming timer.
  4. At the same time, cook the pasta for two minutes less than is suggested on the packet. Drain and throw into the greased oven dish along with the broccoli and pear. – you may want to chop the broccoli florets to make them go a little further, it’s your call.
  5. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the flour, stir for about a minute and then gradually add the milk a little at a time. You can use a whisk for this, but a wooden spoon does me just fine. Once you’ve got a nice thick sauce, take it off the heat and add half the cheddar and 100g of the blue cheese.
  6. Pour the sauce over the pasta, broccoli and pear and gently stir through to make sure everything is evenly coated.
  7. Top with the remaining blue cheese (crumble with hands or use a teaspoon depending on what kind you’ve used) and then the rest of the cheddar.
  8. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and you start to see those lovely crispy bits forming on the top.

Make sure you give yourself at least 2 hours after eating before doing anything at all. Today’s track recommendation is the perfect song for your post-carb nap, you can always rely on Leonard.

Oh and by the way..

How utterly gorgeous is the matching tea-towel and plate combo? Find out more about the designer here.

Thanks for reading x

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