Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Serves 8. Recipe is by chef John Besh.
1 lb. penne pasta
4 tbls. butter
1/4 cup flour
1 quart milk
1 pinch nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1?3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup or so cooked cauliflower
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta for 12 minutes, uncovered, then drain in a colander.
2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute, then stir in the milk and bring to a boil. Keep stirring and when the white sauce is well mixed, reduce the heat to simmer. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the ricotta cheese. Add the pasta and toss well, then stir in the Swiss cheese and half of the cheddar.
4. Scatter the cauliflower in an ovenproof 9-inch-by-12-inch dish and spoon the pasta and cheesy sauce on top. Smooth the top with a spatula and sprinkle on the remaining cheddar. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is nicely browned.