A 4 ingredient recipe that is easy to prepare and ready in less than 20 minutes. We love it because it is variable – change the broccoli to spinach, cauliflower, courgette or whatever is growing in the garden or is on special at the local shop. Add the cheese or don’t, sprinkle with nuts or don’t, add a few herbs to the sauce or don’t. At its basic form, it is also cheap at 40p per serving and for those with food allergies, make it dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian or vegan.
Serving size: 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Clean-up time: 5 – 10 minutes
Skill level: Novice chef
1/2 head (4 servings about a handful each) of Broccoli
Sunflower or pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
Chopped or whole nuts
Add salt, pepper and chopped oregano or mint to the white sauce
1. Cook the pasta according to instructions on the pack and add the chopped broccoli florets for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
2. Make the sauce: Mix the flour and milk smoothly (by hand or using a Hostess Milk Frother), heat over a medium heat until it starts to thicken, remove from heat and stir in cheese.
3. Strain the pasta and broccoli and pour into a serving dish then pour over the sauce.
4. Optional: Stir-in herbs, sprinkle with grated cheese, chopped nuts or both.
5. Serve hot
Serving suggestions: Serve with a side-salad or sliced cucumber, carrot sticks or fresh peas.
These instructions are detailed with no multi-tasking and no time pressure, written for novice cooks, children and for anyone with a learning disability or dexterity issues that make it hard to work within a set time frame.
✽Fill saucepan with cold water half-full.
✽Bring water to boil on hob.
✽Cook the pasta following the instructions on the pack.
✽ Break the broccoli into chunks
✽ Add it to the pasta for the last 5 minutes of cooking time
✽ Replace lid and let it cook
✽ Strain the pasta and broccoli, place in the serving dish and put to the side whilst making the sauce.
✽ Make the sauce:
✽ Mix the flour with a bit of the milk into a paste
✽ Add the remaining milk whilst stirring.
✽ Pour the flour and milk mixture into a saucepan or non-stick frying pan
✽ Keep stirring on a medium heat until it starts to thicken – about 5 minutes. Do not let it boil.
✽ Remove from heat when thickened and stir-in half of the cheese until it has melted.
✽ Pour the sauce over the pasta and broccoli and stir gently.
✽ Layer the remaining grated cheese over the top
✽ Optional Extra: Place under the grill or in the oven until the cheese has melted and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Ergohacks Kitchen: Our story
We are not cooks, we have had no culinary training or relevant experience at all. In fact, we have always been pretty terrible at meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking from scratch. Our daughter was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity and dairy intolerance 5 years ago and suddenly, we had to prepare scrumptuous child-friendly meals to meet strict dietary requirements.
We found the internet overwhelming and confusing with contradictory instructions and advice and so, armed with an old family handwritten cookbook at hand, a small kitchen set given as a Christmas present by sympathetic family, we set out, us sleep deprived zombie parents, to conquer the wilderness of cooking healthy meals with limited time, limited resources and a shoestring budget.
These are our recipes we made up from what was in the food cupboard, what we knew how to make and what we could afford. We make them regularly and continue to experiment, always looking for more easy, tasty meals that anyone can make.
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This recipe was made in the Ergohacks Kitchen. Click to read more about our access icons used in this review. It was first published on 25 July 2015 and last updated on 10 May 2016.