Whole-wheat mac and cheese with cauliflower puree

September 1, 2010

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Serves 6

Make a puree of cauliflower with cheese while the pasta cooks, then toss them together.

Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound whole-grain elbow macaroni
1 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1 pint heavy cream
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain into a colander; do not rinse.

2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan fitted with a steamer insert and several inches of boiling water, steam the cauliflower, covered, for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove the cauliflower and the steamer insert. Reserve the cooking liquid; set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a shallow bowl with a potato masher, puree the cauliflower, adding a little cooking water a spoonful at a time, to make a smooth, thick puree. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. In the empty saucepan you steamed the cauliflower in, simmer the cream over low heat until it is reduced by a third. Add the cream cheese, cheddar, and Parmesan. Stir until smooth. Stir in the cauliflower puree. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you like.

5. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower sauce with the pasta.

Adapted from Angela Dominick