Apart from an occasional weekend coffee, and for cooking, we don’t use much milk. I don’t like the taste of plain milk, whether it’s skim, normal or full fat. (But I could drink litres of soy milk, particularly the plastic bottles with yellow lids that can be bought in Asian supermarkets – yum!)
Due to the lack of milk drinking, I often find that we have run out or, more commonly, it’s been sitting in the fridge for too long and has gone chunky (ick).
This was the situation I found myself in this week. There were two cartons of open milk in the fridge, both well past their use by dates. But no milk, no matter! Normally I would’ve made a cheese sauce, but this time I just melted the cheese through the hot pasta. It was cheesylicous!
>Cheesy Pasta with cauliflower and asparagus
300 gram dried pasta spirals
2 small onions, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Bunch of asparagus
2 tablespoons butter
150g tasty cheese, grated
50g pecorino, grated
Salt & pepper
Bring a pot of well salted water to the boil for the pasta. Add the pasta when the water comes to the boil.
Cook the onions and garlic on a medium-low heat in a frying pan until soft, for about 10 minutes.
While this is happening, bring another pot of salted water to the boil. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and rinse. Add to the boiling water and cook until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander.
Snap the woody ends off the asparagus, then cut the spears into 3cm lengths. Add to the boiling water that the cauliflower had been in and cook until just tender (about 1 minutes). Remove from the water and drain.
The pasta should be about ready by now – when al dente, remove and drain. Reserve some of the cooking water.
Heat the butter in a pot over medium-low heat (use the pasta one to cut down on dishes!), when melted, add the cauliflower and asparagus, then the onions and garlic. Stir to warm the vegetables, then add the cooked pasta and a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Tip in all the cheese and stir until melted through the pasta.
Taste, add salt if necessary, and season well with lots of freshly cracked pepper.