Cauliflower Mac N Cheese

Total Time:
1 hr 50 min
Prep:
15 min
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
1 hr 5 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Salt
  • 1 pound short cut pasta (recommended: macaroni, ziti or penne rigate or, whole wheat or whole grain pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • About 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 small bundle watercress, washed and chopped
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Bring water to a boil for pasta. Salt the water and undercook the pasta by 2 minutes, about 5 to 6 minutes.

  • While the water comes to a boil, in a covered Dutch oven heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Cut the core away from the cauliflower and set the head into the pot and add 1 cup stock, cover and steam 12 to 15 minutes until tender. Remove and separate the cauliflower into florets. Discard water from pot.

  • Over medium heat in the same pot, melt the butter, then add onions and garlic. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Add in the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the whole milk and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and sage. When thickened, stir in the Dijon mustard and 2/3 of the combined cheeses.

  • Drain the pasta, add to the cauliflower, stir in the cheese sauce, transfer to baking dish, top with remaining cheese. Cool completely and cover for a make-ahead meal.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Bake until brown on a baking sheet to catch the bubble-over. The casserole will take 40 to 45 minutes to heat through.

  • Garnish bowls of cauli-mac-n-cheese with chopped spicy watercress.


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