Cauliflower mac and cheese

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

This is a rich dish perfect for wintry nights. For a fresh element, add a simply dressed bitter-leaf salad.

  • 300 gm dried macaroni
  • 400 gm cauliflower (about 1/3 cauliflower), cut into small florets
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
  • 140 gm firm ricotta
  • 100 gm coarsely grated cheddar, plus extra for scattering
  • 100 gm finely grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp each coarsely chopped thyme and flat-leaf parsley
  •  
  • Crunchy rye crumbs
  • 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 gm coarse fresh rye breadcrumbs
  • ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
01   Preheat oven to 180C. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente, adding cauliflower in the last 3 minutes of cooking (6-8 minutes). Drain and return both to pan. Add cream, then cheeses and herbs, season generously to taste and mix well. Spread in a 3-litre baking dish, scatter with extra cheddar and bake until golden and bubbling (10-15 minutes).
02   For crunchy rye crumbs, melt butter and oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming, add crumbs and stir occasionally until crisp and golden brown (4-5 minutes). Add garlic, thyme and lemon rind and stir until fragrant (1 minute). Remove from heat and season to taste. Scatter over hot macaroni and serve.
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