Lemon Pasta Bake

Can be turned into a vegetarian dish, by using an vegeterian alternative to the cheese.

300g macaroni
200g broccoli, cut into small florets
100g  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 skimmed milk
2 bay leaves
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 lemon, finely grated zest only
100g 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.

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