Mac-n-Smoked Gouda with Cauliflower
I’m not usually a huge fan of Rachael Ray, but when I watched her make this mac’n'cheese using one of my all-time favorite cheeses, I had to give it a try. It turned out delicious, and I thought the cauliflower was a nice addition. It can be a side dish or stand alone with a green salad for a great vegetarian meal.
Sophie wasn’t a fan, but I’ve noticed she doesn’t like pasta that much in general. (Can she really be my child?)
from Rachael Ray, Food Network
1 lb. elbow macaroni or cavatappi (corkscrew-shaped pasta)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 T all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
3 c. whole milk
1 c. chicken stock or broth
3 c. shredded smoked Gouda (about 12 oz)
1 T Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to season the cooking water, then add the pasta.
Cook for 5 minutes, then add the cauliflower and cook for 3 minutes more or until pasta is cooked al dente and the florets are just tender. Drain well and return to the pot.
While the pasta cooks, heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and butter until it melts. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes to sweat them out and turn the juices sweet. Raise the heat a bit, then whisk in the flour, cayenne, and paprika.
Whisk together until the roux bubbles up, then cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in the milk and stock and raise the heat a bit higher to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once it bubbles, drop the heat back to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the cheese to the thickened sauce and stir to melt it, a minute or so. Stir in the mustard and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour over the cauliflower and cooked pasta and toss to combine. Serves 5-6.
1. It’s a little spicier than I thought it would be. If you have small children, I’d suggest omitting the cayenne pepper or just putting a pinch in.
2. I halved this recipe and it made enough for Steve and I plus two servings of leftovers.