Cauli Boli Cheese – Jason Atherton

This works really well. It is worth the effort it takes to make the slightly long winded meat sauce before putting everything together in the final dish. We made 6 portions from it and the two of us were more than happy to eat it for lunch for 3 days straight.


  • 200g dried pasta e.g. conchiglie or rigatoni
  • 400g cauliflower, broken into small florets  (double the original recipe)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 1/4 leek (approx. 50g), finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbs tomato puree
  • 300ml white wine
  • 500g beef mince
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 200ml double cream
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 200g grated cheese
  • 30g dijon mustard


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil and add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic. Sweat for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine and bubble to reduce.
  3. Remove the veg, add the other tbsp of olive oil and fry the mince. Add the veg back in and the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40-45 minutes.
  4. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the pack instructions. Drain and mix with the raw cauliflower.
  5. For the cheese sauce, heat the cream and milk until nearly simmering. Whisk in 150g of the cheese and then the mustard. Season.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 (180 fan). Pour 1/2 the meat sauce into a 1.5l baking dish, then pasta, then cheese sauce. Repeat with another layer of each and sprinkle with 50g cheese.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

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