Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

I really like this recipe for The College Cookbook because it allows you to cook some major comfort food in one or two pots.  Plus the cauliflower adds some veggies to that college diet.  

Servings: 6



1 pound short cut pasta (recommended: macaroni, ziti or penne

rigate or, whole wheat or whole grain pasta)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large head cauliflower

1 cup chicken stock

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tablespoons flour

About 2 1/2 cups whole milk

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

3 to 4 sprigs fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 cup sharp white Cheddar cheese

1 cup Gruyere cheese

1 cup shredded Parmigiano cheese

1 small bundle watercress, washed and chopped


Bring water to a boil for pasta. Salt the water and undercook the

pasta by 2 minutes, about 5 to 6 minutes.

While the water comes to a boil, in a covered Dutch oven heat

extra-virgin olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Cut the

core away from the cauliflower and set the head into the pot and

add 1 cup stock, cover and steam 12 to 15 minutes until tender.

Remove and separate the cauliflower into florets. Discard water

from pot. Over medium heat in the same pot, melt the butter, then add

onions and garlic. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Add in

the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the whole milk and

season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and sage. When thickened, stir

in the Dijon mustard and 2/3 of the combined cheeses.

Drain the pasta, add to the cauliflower, stir in the cheese

sauce, transfer to baking dish, top with remaining cheese. Cool

completely and cover for a make-ahead meal.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake until brown on a baking sheet to catch the bubble-over. The

casserole will take 40 to 45 minutes to heat through.

Garnish bowls of cauli-mac-n-cheese with chopped spicy




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