Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a simple but so tasty adaptation of the old Mac and Cheese. Adding Cauliflower as an additional element boosts the flavours of this very popular dish. Served as a main dish, it always goes down well all year whether a cold winters evening or summer lunch on the patio with a chilled wine. This is also an ideal way to use left overs. I use cheddar and parmesan for the nutty and mature flavours they bring.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb. macaroni or other pasta
- 1 medium cauliflower remove the core and thinly slice
- 2 oz. Parmesan cheese grated
- 4 oz. mature Cheddar cheese grated
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 large yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley chop
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- salt seasoning
- ground black pepper seasoning
- Pour a little olive oil into a 13×9 inch baking dish and using a pastry brush or your fingers cover the dish.
- Place a large pot on a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add the onion, garlic and cauliflower and a pinch of salt for seasoning.
- Stir occasionally and continue to cook for about 15 – 20 minutes until tender.
- Add 4 cups water and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes until the garlic, onion and cauliflower are lovely and soft.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. 220°C
- In a large pan of salted boiling water add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
- Carefully drain to pan keeping at least 2 cups of the cooking liquid for later.
- For safety sake, leave to cool for a few minutes.
- Return the vegetables to a large pan and add the cheeses, mustard powder and cayenne and mix thoroughly. Add a little of the cooking liquid to thin it slightly.
- In sensible portions, transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz until lovely and smooth.
- Add more cooking liquid if required.
- The pasta should be cooked by now, drain using a sieve and place in a large mixing bowl or you can reuse the pasta pan.
- When the mixture has been pureed, pour onto the cooked pasta and mix thoroughly.
- Once combined, transfer the pasta and sauce to the pre oiled baking dish.
- In a clean bowl, combine the chopped parsley, panko breadcrumbs and remining olive oil. season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the pasta and place in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
- Everything is already cooked so this is to get the breadcrumbs toasty and the sauce thicken. The top should be golden brown ideally.