Step 1Preheat the oven to 180°C. Then lightly grease an 8–cup capacity baking dish.
Step 2Cook the small dried pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water, following the packet’s instructions, until al dente. Add the broccoli, and frozen peas and corn, for last 2 minutes of pasta cooking time. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta and vegies to pan.
Step 3Meanwhile, cook cauliflower florets in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until very soft. Drain. Transfer to a food processor. Purée with the reduced-fat milk until the mixture is smooth. Season purée with cracked black pepper.
Step 4Add the cauliflower purée, reserved cooking liquid and cheese to pasta mixture; stir to combine. Transfer pasta mixture to prepared baking dish.
Step 5Place bread, thyme and zest in a small food processor. Process until crumbs form. Scatter the crumbs over pasta mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden. Dress the salad leaves with olive oil and lemon juice. Serve mac ‘n’ cheese with salad.