Lighter lemony pasta and spinach bake
- 300g/10½oz dried macaroni
- 200g/7oz broccoli, cut into small florets
- 100g/3½oz baby spinach, any thicker stems removed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 spring onions, outer leaves removed, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 300ml/10fl oz skimmed milk
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only
- 100g/3½oz Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- mixed salad leaves dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tsp olive oil, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6
Cook the macaroni in boiling water for 6 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the spinach and leave to stand with the lid on for 2 minutes. Drain well and set aside
Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Fry the spring onions for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring all the time, for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk, add the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Continue simmering for 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Remove the bay leaves.
Stir in the mustard, lemon zest and three quarters of the Parmesan, then season well.
Tip the pasta and broccoli into a shallow baking dish. Pour over the sauce and mix well. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with the dressed salad leaves.