I've been making macaroni and cheese for years. It's basically my signature dish. The original recipe came from Joy of Cooking: All About Pasta & Noodles, but I've futzed with it and really made it my own. This week, I kicked it up a notch and added roasted cauliflower. This. This is the way mac and cheese should be. It was delicious...if I may say so myself.
A few friends have asked for the recipe, so here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
for the filling
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup of elbow macaroni
1/2 cup (roughly) of chopped prosciutto*
1 medium sized lemon
1 clove minced garlic
for the cheese sauce
1 cup of shredded mild or sharp cheddar
2 teaspoons of sage
2 cups of milk
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
for the topping
1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 400º F.
- Cut up your cauliflower. If you're not sure how, check out this video. Toss the cauliflower in a little olive oil (enough to lightly coat it), the minced garlic, and the juice from one lemon.
- Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes. Take it out and pour it into a 9x9 baking dish.
- Add the prosciutto and mix together.
- Put water on to boil for your pasta.
- As soon as you add the pasta to boil, get a large saute pan and melt your butter.
- Once your butter is nicely melted, turn the eye down to low and whisk in the flour. You should get a nice thick paste.
- You will slowly (about 1/2 cup at a time) add the milk to your butter/flour mixture. Pour in a little milk, whisk until smooth, and then add more milk. This is the best way to make a roux with no lumps.
- Add the sage and a little pepper, and let this simmer on low until the pasta is done.
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In a small bowl mix 1-2 tsp of olive oil with your panko crumbs until all the crumbs are well coated.
- Drain pasta and add it to the cauliflower mixture.
- Take your roux off the heat and mix in the cheese. It will be thick!
- Pour the cheese mixture over your cauliflower, pasta, prosciutto mix and stir until everything is coated is awesome cheese sauce.
- Spread the breadcrumbs on top and pop it in the oven for 20-30 minutes. You want it to bubble and get lightly brown on top.
- Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then serve.
Let me know what you think and any changes you've made. I don't normally write recipes, so if I left anything out, please let me know!!
*Bacon works in place of the prosciutto. If you cook it, you can use the bacon fat instead of butter in the roux.