Italian Broccoli & Salmon Bake
- 250g penne
- 300g broccoli , cut into large florets
- 25g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 600ml milk
- 100g mascarpone
- 8 sundried tomatoes (preserved in olive oil), drained and thickly sliced
- 2 tbsp small capers (optional) rinsed to remove excess salt or vinegar
- 8 anchovy fillets, halved (optional)
- 10 large fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
- 4 fresh skinless salmon fillets
- 50g mature cheddar , finely grated
- Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5/fan 170C and get out an ovenproof dish (measuring 20 by 30cm, and about 5cm deep). Meanwhile, put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta. When it is boiling rapidly, tip in the pasta with a generous sprinkling of salt. Give it a stir, return to the boil and cook for 6 minutes. Add the broccoli, then return the water to the boil and cook for 4 minutes more, until the broccoli is on the firm side of just tender. Drain well.
- While the pasta is cooking, put the butter, flour and milk in a large pan and heat, whisking or stirring continuously, until it thickens to make a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the mascarpone, sun-dried tomatoes, capers (if using), anchovies (if using) and basil, then add the pasta and broccoli and season well.
- Halve the salmon fillets widthways (you will see that there is an obvious divide on each fillet) then place the pieces in a single layer on the base of the ovenproof dish. Spoon the broccoli mixture on top, then scatter with the grated cheddar. (You can chill this for up to 4 hours if you want to get ahead.)
- Bake for 30 minutes until the mixture is just starting to bubble round the edges and the mixture is pale golden – don’t let it go too dark or the fish will overcook.