As we near the end of the nine-day period leading up to Tisha B’Av, when it’s customary for Jews to refrain from eating meat, keeping dinners interesting, delicious and nutritious can be challenging.
Kosher.com offers this treat that will even appeal to younger palates. Classic mac and cheese is a family favorite and it can be improved with delicious roasted cauliflower, which boosts nutrition and enhances the flavors and texture.
Serving this with a salad rounds things out for a satisfying meal.
Cauliflower mac & cheese
1 (16-oz.) package small pasta (elbow or spiral)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3 cups shredded cheese, any kind (mozzarella, cheddar, white cheddar)
1 teaspoon salt
1 (16-oz.) bag frozen cauliflower, slightly thawed and rinsed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
chopped parsley, as a garnish
For the cauliflower:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and season with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil and toss well to coat.
Roast until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
For the pasta:
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, approximately 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
To make the roux, return the large pot to the stovetop over medium heat and melt the butter. While constantly whisking, add the flour and stir vigorously until a smooth paste forms. Add the milk, still constantly stirring.
Add the cheese and whisk until melted. (If the sauce is too thick, add more milk. If it’s too thin, add more cheese.) Pour the pasta back into the pot and stir to coat. Remove from heat.
In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and sauté until golden and crisp.
To serve, pour the pasta onto a serving platter (or into individual bowls), add the cauliflower and top with toasted bread crumbs and parsley. Serve immediately.
Cook and prep time is 40 minutes; 6 servings. JN
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