Last night I was on a message board in the online mom's group I'm a member of, and one mother asked how she could sneak vegetables into her picky toddler's dinner. And my friends, this macaroni and cheese is the answer to that question. It's loaded with cauliflower, but the cauliflower totally blends into the pasta and cheese, rendering it invisible to vegetable-haters. Andrew loved this and ate the leftovers for two days. And I felt really good about that, because cauliflower is one vegetable we've had trouble getting him to eat.
Joe and I liked it too. Joe loved the tangy, creamy sauce, and I loved the multigrain breadcrumb topping. Next time I'll definitely add more cheese, because this just wasn't cheesy enough for me. I've reflected that change below. Other than that, though, this was a comforting, quick weeknight dinner, and it temporarily satisfied my near-constant cauliflower craving.
And hey! Don't forget about my give-away! Head on over to that post and leave a comment for a chance to win!
Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower
source: adapted from Real Simple
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
4 slices multigrain bread, torn
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain.
2. Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the parsley, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and pulse to combine; set aside.
3. Return the pasta pot to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheese, sour cream, and milk.
4. Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.