Deep Stir: Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese (adapted from Real Simple)
Serves 6

1 lb  short-cut pasta (such as cavatappi)
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
4 slices of bread, torn
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup of milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar
1 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese (1/2 cup reserved for topping)

1) Preheat oven to 400° F.

2) Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the cauliflower to the boiling pasta water during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; set aside in a strainer.

3) Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the parsley, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper; pulse to combine.

4) In the empty pasta pot over medium heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the chopped onion until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

5) When the onion is cooked through, add the milk and whisk in Dijon mustard and sour cream.  When thoroughly combined and warm, whisk in 1 ½ cups of cheddar and 1 cup of gruyere.

6) After the cheese is melted into the sauce, pour the pasta and cauliflower back into the large pot, stir until combined.

7) Transfer the mac and cheese to a shallow baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs and remaining gruyere, and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a fresh side salad. We topped baby kale and vine-ripened tomatoes with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette.

Dijon Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil


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