During my eternal search to find healthy recipes that hide cruciferous vegetables -- not to fool
my kids, but my broccoli-phobic husband -- I came across a Cauliflower Mac N' Cheese recipe claiming to be the very best out there. Last night I made a few modifications, got my girls together and prepared it with them. It was quick to make, only taking 40 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Everybody polished off their plates-- even my husband. Only when my daughter informed him that we had put in an entire head of cauliflower into the sauce, did he utter "I knew there was something weird in there!"
Looking to spruce up your weekday pasta repertoire? Then check out this easy recipe and brace for the magic that will go down at the diner table.
- 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 400 grams macaroni or any other short pasta
- 5 tbsp butter, divided
- 1/2 c Panko crumbs
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 c of the fattiest milk you've got
- 1 c parmesan cheese
- 1.5 c shredded mozzarella/ cheddar cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh parsley optional (if your kids don't get freaked out by "something green" in their pasta)
1. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook cauliflower florets until tender.
2. Cook pasta al dente in a separate pot. Once ready, keep 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
3. Saute the Panko: melt two tbsp of butter over low heat. Once bubly, pour in the Panko and stir in the heat until the crumbs become golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside (mix in parsley if desired and tolerated).
4. In the same pan, heat the next 3 tbsp of butter until it bubbles. Slowly incorporate flour using a whisk and season with 1/2 tbsp salt and pepper. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Slowly bring the cauliflower florets into the mix-- mash them into the sauce with a fork or a masher. (If you don't think your people will like the texture, try blending the cauliflower before incorporating into the sauce). Mix in Parmesan, 1 c of shredded cheese and pasta.
5. The sauce will most likely be too thick. Use the pasta water to gradually bring it to a desired consistency.
6. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with 1/2 c shredded cheese, toasted Panko and a tbsp of Parmesan. Serve right away and watch it dissapear!