Parmigiano Reggiano Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Make this inspired combination of macaroni cheese and cauliflower cheese – taken to new heights with plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano!

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time25 mins
  • Serves4
150g Macaroni or tubular pasta shapes
500g Cauliflower, broken into florets
500ml Milk
40g Butter
50g Plain flour
150g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
2 tsp. Wholegrain mustard
3 tbsp. Dried breadcrumbs (e.g. Panko)
A few cherry tomatoes, halved
8 Slices pancetta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flat leaf parsley, to garnish
  1.      Put the pasta into a large saucepan with the cauliflower and cook in gently boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes, until the pasta is tender.     
  2. Meanwhile, put the milk, butter and flour into a large saucepan (preferably non-stick) and bring to the boil, stirring constantly with a whisk to give a smooth sauce.      
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in about three-quarters of the Parmigiano Reggiano and mustard. Avoid doing this over the heat, as it could make the sauce stringy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.     
  4. Preheat the grill and warm a large heatproof serving dish underneath it for a couple of minutes.     
  5. Drain the pasta and cauliflower very thoroughly, then tip it into the warm serving dish.      
  6. Pour the sauce over the top, mixing it in gently.      
  7. Scatter the breadcrumbs and reserved cheese over the top.      
  8. Dot the halved cherry tomatoes over the surface and arrange the pancetta slices on top.     
  9. Grill for 6-8 minutes until the pancetta is crispy and the surface is golden brown and bubbling.      
  10. Serve, garnished with chopped flat leaf parsley.

Cook’s tip: This is a great family meal, though if there are just two of you, share the quantity between 2 serving dishes and freeze one for another time.