Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower
This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit RachaelRayShow.com.
- 1 pound whole wheat or semolina penne rigate
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 head cauliflower, cored and greens trimmed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 12 ounces (3/4 pound) extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1 rounded teaspoon dry mustard
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the macaroni. Salt it liberally and cook pasta to just shy of al dente—about 7 minutes for whole wheat, about 6 for white pasta.
Place stock, garlic and onion in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Add whole head of cauliflower, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender. Remove to a plate and strain the stock.
In a deep skillet or large saucepot, melt butter over medium to medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, cook for a minute then stream in stock. Bring to a boil, add half-and-half and let sauce thicken; stir in cheddar cheese. Season sauce with mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler to high and place a rack in the center.
Separate cauliflower into small florets and toss with sauce and pasta,. Place in a baking dish and top with Parm. Place in oven and broil to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Garnish with chives and parsley, and serve.