Comfort food. But full of goodness too. This creamy cheesey mac n cheese is full of cauliflower, both in the cauliflower based ‘bechamel’ and in the crispy roasted bits peeking out the top. it’s a good one.
I’ve made something similar to this before but this is the new and improved version. You could easily add more cheese if you want to update the indulgence factor but I love it as is. You’ll recognise the sauce as it’s very similar to my cauliflower sauce that I used in that ridiculous vegetarian lasagne a couple of weeks back. I used spelt pasta but you can use your favourite variety.
I have eaten so much cauliflower this winter and I;m probably ready to start mixing it up and eating some spring veg because Spring has sprung! I love a new season and all the new yummy food that comes with it. I always start to feel a little uninspired by the end of the season as I run out of new things to do with that seasons veg. And then, just in time, things change and the world starts bringing new inspiration in the form of a whole new season of produce. All of that probably sounds really wanky but I nerd out about this stuff so you’ll just have to deal with it.
If you’re feeling lazy you don’t have to bake this, you can just eat it as soon as you’ve mixed it. I bake it because golden crispy bits are life. If you’re feeling organised you can make this the day before you need it and just leave the baking it part to do.
1.5 kg of cauliflower separated into florets (approx 1 and 1/2 smallish cauliflowers)
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup finely chopped parmesan rind
500ml bone broth (chicken) or stock
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup frshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated aged cheddart
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season
500g pasta, short tubes, macaroni or elbows.
1 Tbs grated parmesan (to top with)
1 Tbs grated cheddar (to top with)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a small baking tray with baking paper.
Roughly chop cauliflower, being careful to chop the stalks smaller so everything cooks evently. Place stock, parmesan rind smashed cloves of garlic and cauliflower in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.
Remove about 3 cups of the cooked florets. Toss these in olive oil, season and place on the prepared baking tray in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden.
Strain the reest of the cauliflower, reserving the remaining liquid and transfer the cauliflower to food processor. Add the cheese and mustard and process until smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the liquid to loosen to a sauce consistency. You can add a little more if you think it necessary.
Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain. In a large bowl fold the sauce through the pasta then add the roasted cauliflower and gently fold into the pasta.
Pour into a ? x ? baking dish and smooth th top. Scatter with remaining cheese, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn the grill on and increase temperature to 200 degrees celsius and cook for 5 minutes or until golden on top. Cut and divide amongst hungry people.
Serve with a green salad!