Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

  • Yield 8 servings

The best thing about this yummy, cheesy pasta and cauliflower dish is that it comes together so fast.

cauliflower-mac-cheese-jon-besh-relish

Be sure to add the cheese to the sauce at the last minute and then immediately remove the pan from the heat. If you continue to cook the sauce after adding the cheese, the fats will separate from the proteins and the cheese will become gritty.

Ingredients

1 pound penne pasta
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart 2-percent reduced-fat milk
1 pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
-- Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh rictotta cheese
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked cauliflower

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta 12 minutes, uncovered, then drain in a colander.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute, then stir in milk and bring to a boil. Keep stirring and when sauce is well mixed, reduce heat to simmer. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in ricotta cheese. Add pasta and toss well, then stir in Swiss cheese and half the Cheddar.
  5. Scatter cauliflower in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and spoon pasta and cheesy sauce on top. Smooth top with a spatula and sprinkle on remaining Cheddar. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese is nicely browned.
 
Reprinted with permission from John Besh’s My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012). 

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