Cauli-macaroni cheese

Cauli-macaroni cheese

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(37 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins - 25 mins

Easy

Serves 4
What do you get if you cross cauliflower cheese with macaroni cheese? Comfort food heaven

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition:

  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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Ingredients

  • 300g rigatoni, penne or macaroni
  • 1 small cauliflower, separated into florets

    Cauliflower

    coll-ee-fl-ow-ah

    A brassica, like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is a mass of tiny, tightly packed flower…

  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 175g Red Leicester, grated
  • 2 tomato, cut into wedges

    Tomato

    toe-mart-oh

    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, stir well, bring back to the boil and then cook, uncovered, for a couple of minutes. Tip in the cauliflower florets, bring back to the boil again and cook for a further 8-10 minutes until both the pasta and the cauliflower are tender but still firm to the bite. Drain well. Preheat a hot grill.

  2. Add the crème fraîche, mustard and all but a good handful of the cheese to the pasta pan. Stir over a low heat until the cheese just starts to melt. Tip the pasta and cauliflower into the cheese sauce and gently stir together. Season and transfer to a flameproof dish.

  3. Scatter the tomatoes over the top followed by the rest of the cheese and some pepper. Grill for about 5 minutes until browned and bubbling.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (38)

rebloomfield's picture
5

Didn't have mustard so used Garam Masala, came out wonderful. Don't skimp on cheese for the topping, I ran out and I wished I hadn't!

yurrnae's picture

I usually just use milk for the sauce (and add in any cream, if I have left overs). Then I thicken it, then stir in the grated cheese.
We like a lot of sauce, and loads of cheese in it (left-over thick sauce is great in a sandwich, and the left over sauce is great over other veg next day).
It's lovely to poach some diced onion in the milk etc, before thickening.
It's also fun to add any left over cream cheese (especially with garlic and herb) before thickening.
Wedged hard-boiled egg is another happy ingredient here.
Pasta - I usually leave that till next day. i'll try to work my menus so that we've had pasta the day before, then I'll cook enough to give us left overs.
2 days' cooking for 3 days' meals! And make sure the left-overs go into the fridge asap, so you're not eating cheese sauce every single day - get something else in the days in between.

PS the sauce is also brilliant on baked potato!

eleanormayo's picture
4

Lovely comfort food and using half fat creme fraiche makes me believe that it is not fattening either!

phinugget's picture
5

Very nice recipe, and easy to make. The roasted tomatoes on top are a very delicious touch. I will definitely make it again.

icelesley's picture
5

Great way to use up cauliflower which can be a bit bland. Will definately make it again. Its also a cheap diah to make.

susanrickards's picture

this was delicious. added broad beans and less mustard. will have this again.

marola's picture
5

Really good and so easy to make. I like to mop up the sauce with nice fresh bread. Yum yum.

purpleflufff's picture
4

Really really nice, really easy and will definately be making this one again .. I followed the recipe exactly and wouldnt change a thing. perfect midweek dinner on a cold night

alecdykes's picture

Try substituting broccoli for the cauliflower - lightly steam it before adding to the cooked pasta. Delicious!

siobhanm's picture
4

Great idea! Tasty but would make a proper macaroni cheese sauce next time as the sauce was barely covering the pasta and veg. A brilliant way to get my 3 year old to eat some vegetables!
Also like the idea of trying with broccoli.

esmith's picture
5

Really nice with broccoli instead of cauliflower & cheddar cheese!

ajwmpw's picture
5

Easy and quick. I sometimes leave out the cauliflower and its still just as tasty. It freezes well.

laevans's picture
5

The whole family loves this recipe - even my normally mustard loathing husband! We occasionally make it with the addition of roughly snipped cooked bacon rashers - delicious!

stenberg's picture
5

We make this all the time, normally with half white sauce half creme fraiche, with more mustard and a lot less cheese than suggested. LOVELY.

claireingram35's picture
5

Quick, easy and reliable. I usually use more mustard than in the recipe, and more tomatoes!

benadam's picture
4

My 5 year old son loved this. I used chedder rather than Red Leicester and it worked fine. Will add more seasoning next time though.

searchingforrecipes's picture
4

Wonderful, easy, tasty and a winner everytime!

littleredcar's picture
5

Well, I'm an American who cooks and bakes many of the "Good Food" recipes since they're jost so simple to make and so, so good.

This is just pure veggie comfort food, and so easy to make. Creme fraiche is a bit expensive over here, but once you weigh it out on the scale, it's well worth every calorie.

It's also interesting to note that if my American supermarket didn't have creme fraiche, I would have substitued soured cream, but soured cream curdles if you take up to a high temperature.

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