Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Truly comfort food

Whatever sophistication this recipe gets from its two cheeses is perfectly wiped away by the sheer amount of carbs and dairy in it. I won’t pretend it’s healthy, fancy or classy: this is comfort food! This dish came about when I adapted this recipe, which is just macaroni plus cauliflower plus cheese, into a real cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheese. Two different things entirely, if you ask me.

The pipe rigate pasta is a nicer alternative to macaroni grande, but if macaroni grande is more easily available to you: feel free. The cheddar, gouda and crème fraîche melt into a beautiful sauce with the help of a few tablespoons of yogurt, but unfortunately the smoothness won’t last long. Once this pasta cools down, the sauce will get an unpleasant grainy texture to it. Adding another bit of yogurt when reheating slightly lessens the problem, but I still highly recommend you eat this in one go. Right away, all of it. The way it should be.

The instructions I wrote up will yield two large servings and a bit of extra for both, or three perfectly humble servings. Don’t underestimate how rich this pasta is, you might want to plan an extensive after-dinner laydown in front of the TV. It definitely knocks me out for a bit. Enjoy!

AuthorJazCategory, DifficultyBeginner

Mac and Cheese

Prep Time5 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time20 mins

 200 g pipe rigate
 400 g cauliflower florets
 2 tbsp olive oil
 2 cloves of garlic
 200 g crème fraîche
 a few tbsp (greek) yogurt
 fresh basil leaves
 175 g grated aged gouda cheese (oud 48+)
 150 g grated cheddar

1

Boil a large pot of water and cook the pipe rigate according to the package instructions (usually 10-12 minutes.) Meanwhile, add the rinsed cauliflower florets to a pot and boil them in little water and a bit of salt for 2-3 minutes. Drain the cauliflower florets and let the steam evaporate off them for a minute.

2

Add the cauliflower florets to a frying pan or wok large enough to hold both the pasta and cauliflower. Add the olive oil and stir on medium heat until the cauliflower gets a bit of color to it and the florets can easily be broken in half with a wooden spoon.

3

With a wooden spoon, break larger cauliflower florets into smaller pieces. When doing this, keep in mind that you want the pieces to be bite-sized.

4

Mince the garlic cloves and finely chop some fresh basil leaves. Add to the cauliflower along with crème fraîche. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue stirring over medium heat until the creme fraiche has softened and spread evenly over the cauliflower.

5

Add the pasta and all the grated cheese. It might be easier to add the cheese bit by bit. The cheese will not form a sauce right away, focus on melting and combining all of it first.

6

When the cheese has melted, add a few tablespoons of yogurt. This is what will transform the cheese into a smooth sauce. Add as much yogurt as is needed to reach your desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Ingredients

 200 g pipe rigate
 400 g cauliflower florets
 2 tbsp olive oil
 2 cloves of garlic
 200 g crème fraîche
 a few tbsp (greek) yogurt
 fresh basil leaves
 175 g grated aged gouda cheese (oud 48+)
 150 g grated cheddar

Directions

1

Boil a large pot of water and cook the pipe rigate according to the package instructions (usually 10-12 minutes.) Meanwhile, add the rinsed cauliflower florets to a pot and boil them in little water and a bit of salt for 2-3 minutes. Drain the cauliflower florets and let the steam evaporate off them for a minute.

2

Add the cauliflower florets to a frying pan or wok large enough to hold both the pasta and cauliflower. Add the olive oil and stir on medium heat until the cauliflower gets a bit of color to it and the florets can easily be broken in half with a wooden spoon.

3

With a wooden spoon, break larger cauliflower florets into smaller pieces. When doing this, keep in mind that you want the pieces to be bite-sized.

4

Mince the garlic cloves and finely chop some fresh basil leaves. Add to the cauliflower along with crème fraîche. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue stirring over medium heat until the creme fraiche has softened and spread evenly over the cauliflower.

5

Add the pasta and all the grated cheese. It might be easier to add the cheese bit by bit. The cheese will not form a sauce right away, focus on melting and combining all of it first.

6

When the cheese has melted, add a few tablespoons of yogurt. This is what will transform the cheese into a smooth sauce. Add as much yogurt as is needed to reach your desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese

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