Are you a Mac & Cheese lover? I am, it was my favourite way to eat pasta as a kid. But now I like my Mac & Cheese with extra mix ins.
Bacon is always a go to, but chorizo can work, cherry tomatoes add a pop of freshness and tuna is delicious.
For this version I added roasted cauliflower & smoked bacon. The cauliflower add a slight nutty flavour & the bacon is cripsy, smoky & well bacon just makes everything better right?
I made this in a big batch so if you make it you will have enough to feed about 8 people, I love that this recipe makes such a big batch I like to cook it & place the whole pot on the table with a stack of bowls & let everyone help themselves.
This is a great dish when all your family comes to visit. The kids love the cheesey pasta & for the grown ups add a side salad & it’s all happy days.
Homemade Mac & Cheese is really a step above the packet mix, don’t get me wrong I have eaten a tonne of packet mac & cheese. It was one of the few things I could cook for myself when I first moved out of home, but when i made my first homemade version I knew there was no going back.
You have all the control when you make it at home. Use the cheeses that you love, add whatever mix in you want & dig in!
For this one I used a mixture of cheedar & mozerella because I wanted flavour & that melty gooey cheeseiness. If you want to use different cheeses please do. Just remember there is a lot of cheese in this, it is definlety not an everyday meal.
Roasted Cauliflower & Smoky Bacon Mac & Cheese
- 400 grams cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 400 grams pasta don't feel like you have to use macaroni, i used a mix of shells & spirals
- 3 rashers thick smoked bacon
- 120 grams butter
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1 litre milk
- 225 grams grated cheddar cheese
- 225 grams grated mozerella cheese
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place the cauliflower, oil, salt & pepper in a bowl and toss to coat well. Spread the caulifower onto a tray and place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Cook the pasta according to the packet directions.
Cook the bacon until crispy, remove from the pan allow to cool slightly. DIce the bacon and set aside.
Place the butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat until melted and starting to bubble. Then sprinkle in the flour, whisking well to avoid lumps, cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add the milk slowly whisking constantly. The misture may go lumpy, don't worry just keep adding milk and whisking and it will smooth out.
Once all the milk is added cook until the sauce thickens, then start adding the cheese. Add a handful at a time mixing until fully melted before adding more.
Once all of the cheese is added ensure it is all melted and smooth. Then add the pasta and mix well, then add the cauliflower and bacon and mix to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy!