Macaroni and cheese is by far my favorite food! And to find a way to incorporate more vegetables into the dish is an added bonus! Cauliflower is a great (and sneaky) addition to macaroni and cheese because its’ white color blends into the cheese sauce.
This version is not too cheesy, although it is not beyond me to add some extra to any macaroni and cheeserecipe!
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Baked Pasta with Cauliflower and Cheese Recipe
1 pound – 1 1/2 inch cauliflower pieces
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
salt to taste
12 ounces dried macaroni, penne or other heavy pasta
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 ounce grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 ounce grated parmesan cheese
non-stick cooking spray
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Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add 16 cups of water and some salt to a medium or large pot and heat on medium-high heat until the water is boiling.
Add the cauliflower, onion and garlic to the water and cook until the cauliflower is tender. With a slotted spoon, take the veggies out of the pot and transfer them to a blender. Add 1 cup of milk, the dry mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to the blender and puree until smooth. Bring the water in the pot back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until just tender.
Drain the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, transfer the cauliflower puree to a pot, add the other 1 cup of milk and fresh thyme and cook on low heat until the mixture is hot. Mix the cheeses together and save 1/2 cup for the top of the casserole. Add the rest of the cheese to the cauliflower mixture and stir until all the cheese is melted. Add the hot pasta and stir to combine.
Transfer the pasta and sauce to a baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture on top. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned and hot. Makes 6 servings.
Source: Santa Clarita News