Green vegetables are a great source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the body and helps to maintain a strong immune system.
For the pasta
- 120g wholemeal penne pasta
For the sauce
- 25g unsalted butter
- 25g plain white flour
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk
- 50g blue cheese
- 1 tbsp 15g Dijon mustard
- Pinch of ground black pepper
For the topping
- 150g broccoli cut into small florets
- 25g breadcrumbs
- 20g Italian-style vegetarian hard cheese
For the salad
- 80g salad leaves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and then add the pasta. Cook for 12 minutes, or according to packet instructions, and drain.
- In a separate saucepan, cook the broccoli florets in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Then drain and plunge the broccoli into cold water to stop it over cooking.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter over a low heat, then add the flour, stirring until it forms a paste. Stir for a minute until the flour turns a sandy texture and colour. Gradually add the milk, stirring well. Simmer until the sauce thickens to a rich consistency.
- Add the blue cheese, mustard and pepper to the sauce and stir through.
- Add the penne and broccoli to the sauce and stir until coated.
- Transfer the broccoli and pasta to a medium ceramic dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese, then bake until the top is golden brown.
- Serve with salad leaves dressed in lemon juice and olive oil.