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Author Notes: This comforting dish is my daughter's favorite. She requested it one day after a difficult day at school. I was busy with my own work and had another meal in mind, so said no. I distractedly listened to her recount her events while I continued working at my computer. Suddenly I had a moment of clarity and realized I wasn't present in any way. I put my work aside and gave her my full attention. We worked together on her homework, and I listened to her 10 year-old dramas at school, remembering what it was like when I was 10. Afterwards, I realized the meal I had planned could wait, and we would make her favorite meal for our dinner: Macaroni Cauliflower and Cheese. What better New Years resolution than to focus on the moment with our families and loved ones, all the while sharing and enjoying delicious comfort food? - TasteFood
- 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower, divided into 1" florets
- 1 pound penne
- 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- Steam cauliflower until tender but firm. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- Bring salted water to boil in a large pot. Add pasta. Cook until just tender but still firm, 5 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add cauliflower to pot.
- Combine cheese in a small bowl.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add flour. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Whisk milk into roux. Cook, stirring, until thickened.
- Add 2/3 of the cheese to milk. Stir until smooth. Add mustard, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.
- Add cheese sauce to the pasta and cauliflower. Stir to combine. Pour into a buttered rectangular baking dish.
- Toast breadcrumbs in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until golden. Remove from heat and toss with remaining cheese. Add a pinch of salt. Spread breadcrumb mixture over pasta.
- Bake in pre-heated 350 F. oven until top is golden and crusty, about 40 minutes.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best New Year's Resolution Dish