Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Three-Cheese Macaroni

If you have read my blog enough, you know how much I love macaroni and cheese! I found this "lighten-up" recipe in the food network magazine. What makes it "lighten -up"? Well, I am not sure, but it does have pureed cauliflower in it. And guess what? It taste great! No one even noticed, not even my husband. Give it a try!

Deli counter tip: A few years ago I realized you can have the deli counter cut meats and cheese in blocks! Maybe I am a little slow on the uptake, but it revolutionized my life! I could buy blocks of deli meats or cheese and cube it or shred it at home! This opens up so many options for you as far as shredded cheeses go. When I purchased my muenster cheese for this recipe, I just asked for a 4oz block and then shredded it at home!

Three-Cheese Macaroni
recipe and photo courtesy of foodnetwork

1 large egg
1 12-ounce can evaporated whole milk
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/3 cups grated muenster cheese (4 ounces), plus 4 deli-thin slices (1 ounce)
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (4 cups)
4 cups medium pasta shells (9 ounces)

Whisk the egg, evaporated milk, cayenne, nutmeg, and salt and black pepper to taste in a bowl. Toss the grated cheeses in a separate bowl.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until almost falling apart, about 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add the pasta to the same water and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Preheat the broiler.

Combine the egg mixture and the grated cheeses in the empty pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the cheeses melt and the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and add the cauliflower. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth and light (you can also use a regular blender). Stir in some of the reserved pasta water until creamy.

Toss the pasta in the sauce; season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a shallow casserole dish and top with muenster slices. Broil until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

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