Mac ‘N’ Cheese with Cauliflower and Pancetta

This yummy little creation came from Hello Fresh. I really loved it. Very satisfying and tasty. It would be a great side dish, but honestly it is hearty enough to be the main attraction! Serves 2, double it for four servings.

What you'll need:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 8 oz diced pancetta
  • 3 scallions
  • 8 oz shredded Italian style cheese
  • 1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or chicken stock
  • 6 oz pasta (Cellentani, or hollow spiral shaped), cooked and drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil plus 1 tsp for pasta
  • Salt
  • Pepper
What you'll do:
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Bring a large pot of water with a large pinch of salt to a boil. 
  • Add the pasta to the water and cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain. 
  • Toss the drained pasta with 1 teaspoon olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
  • Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Rinse and pat dry.
  • Thinly slice the scallions, keeping the greens and whites separate.
  • Toss the cauliflower on a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and tender.
  • Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and scallion whites to the pan and cook, tossing, for 4-6 minutes until the pancetta is crispy. Set aside, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.
  • Make the cheese sauce:
  • Heat 2 tablespoons butter in the same pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour into the butter and cook, whisking constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Very slowly whisk the milk into the pan a little bit at a time until combined. Add the stock to the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer for 1-2 minutes, until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper (to taste).
  • Stir the pasta, pancetta mixture, and the cauliflower into the cheese sauce, then transfer mixture to a lightly oiled baking dish. Top generously with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Transfer dish to the oven to bake for 5-7 minutes, until bubbling.
  • Garnish the macaroni and cheese with scallion greens - and enjoy!

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