• Nicolette Stathopoulos

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

I loved creating this cauliflower pasta bake. Before putting it all together I went to South Melbourne Market, one of my favourite markets in Melbourne. I headed straight to the cheese deli and chose a few cheeses I thought paired well together. You can use any cheese for this dish, try to have various flavours and textures. You can also chop up any vegetables you like and add it to this, the possibilities are endless.


I wanted to create a winter warmer dish, something we can all make at home to keep us warm this winter. Being in isolation due to covid is no fun for anyone, so why not spend more time in the kitchen, creating dishes we all love. Ones the family can gather around and share on any night of the week.


I hope you all love creating this dish at home as much as I did x


Ingredients

Crumb

2 bread rolls

3 slices bacon

1 sprig rosemary

4 sprigs thyme

8 sprigs parsley

White sauce

100g butter

100g plain flour

1 tbs mustard, any kind

1 tbs mango chutney

1 tsp chicken stock powder

1 cup milk

2 cups water, approx.

¼ tsp nutmeg

100g fontina cheese

100g gouda cheese

100g parmesan cheese

100g sharp cheddar cheese

1 brown onion

1 leek

1 tbs olive oil

500g pasta, any kind

1 ball Buffalo Mozzarella

1 large Cauliflower

3 tbs olive oil

Method

Crumb

Place the bacon on a lined baking tray and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes, or until golden brown

Roughly chop and place the bread pieces on a lined tray and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes, or until golden brown

Transfer the bacon & bread pieces into a blender, with the thyme, rosemary and parsley and blend until crumbled

Roughly chop onion and leek, and sauté with a drizzle of olive oil until caramelised and tender

Cauliflower

Roughly chop the cauliflower into small florets, season with a pinch of salt and drizzle in olive oil

Roast in a large oven dish at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until tender

White sauce

Place the butter into a pot and turn on to a medium heat, heat until the butter starts to foam

Add in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes

Slowly add in the milk and water until it reaches a thick consistency

Add in the chicken stock powder, mango chutney, mustard and nutmeg, taste for seasoning

Do not over season at this stage, as there is a lot of cheese to be added

Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil and season with salt

Add the pasta and boil until ¾ cooked through, drain and set aside

When draining the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water for the end

Cut the fontina, cheddar and gouda into small cubes, add half the cubes into the white sauce, and leave the rest aside. Add in half of the grated parmesan and stir through until melted

Now stir in the caramelised leek and onion

Stir the pasta into the white cheesy sauce, followed by the cauliflower florets

Add the remaining cheese to the pasta mix

If the consistency is too thick, add in some of the pasta water, till smooth and glossy

Pour the pasta mix into the baking dish the cauliflower was in, and spread evenly

Break up the mozzarella and push into the pasta evenly

Crumble the crumb on top, and bake in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes or until golden brown

Serve the dish straight out of the oven, enjoy x


Here is the link for my Cauliflower Pasta Bake on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yvf3kR1uUcw




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