I can’t watch Rachael Ray for more than 5 minutes. That voice with its Yum-O, Evoo and Sammie talk, all drive me bonkers.
But, I give her lots of credit for putting together a magazine that is always full of great recipes. I get all the Rachael I need in silence.
The original title of this recipe is “Brown Macaroni with Four Cheeses and Cauliflower”. I might have passed on it, because “brown macaroni” doesn’t sound very appetizing. There was an accompanying photo, though, which looked really good.
Now Ms. Ray goes on to say this about the dish “This mac and cheese is rich, but it’s also rich in nutrition.” and “This is one of many “Yum-o!” recipes – it’s good and good for you”.
I say that this is one really delicious pasta dish. However, 3 cups of cheese, 2 cups of milk, and 5 tablespoons of butter ain’t making any meal super healthy. I guess the fact that the penne is whole wheat makes it rich in nutrition. And the cauliflower. Right?
Adjust the quantities of each cheese to suit your taste. I made mine heavy on the Gruyère so it had a fondue-like flavor. Next time I will try it with Romanesco. The green would be a nice contrast to the solemn colors of the dish.
Whole Grain Penne With Four Cheeses And Cauliflower
1 pound whole grain penne
1 head Romanesco (Roman broccoli) or cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons butter, divided
10 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons thyme, minced
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups grated cheese, a mix of sharp white cheddar, Fontina Val D’Aosta or Gruyère and Asiago
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the penne until al dente, about 8 minutes, adding the cauliflower during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain and return pasta and cauliflower to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add 1 Tbs of the butter. When melted, add the shallots and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are light golden, about 20 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the stock.
3. Preheat the broiler.
4. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 4 Tbs butter. Whisk in the flour, nutmeg and dry mustard and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and the remaining 1/2 cup stock, then stir in the cheese. Cook over medium-high heat until thick enough to coat the spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
5. Add the shallot mixture and sauce to the pasta pot. Stir to combine. Transfer to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish; top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
6. Broil until browned and bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Every Day With Rachael Ray Magazine
Now, Now. Anger management, please. (catchy little tune, though)
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