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Bacon and Horseradish Mac-n-Cheese with Cauliflower

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Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 4 thick slices of smoky bacon, chopped into 1/4 inch dice.
  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 pound penne rigate or cavatappi (corkscrew shaped)
  • 3 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 rounded tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped

Details

Servings 6

Preparation

Step 1

Bring a large pot of water to a boil

Heat a drizzle of EVOO in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and crisp, 5 mins. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and reserve.

Salt the boiling water and add the cauliflower florets. Cook for 4-5 mins. Remove the cauliflower with a spider or strainer and run under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Reserve the cooked cauliflower in a colander and reserve the pot of boiling water.

Place a medium size pot over med heat. \melt the butter and whish in the flour. Cook for 1 min, then, whisk in the milk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. |Cook for a couple of minutes more, until thickened. Preheat the broiler.

Drop pasta in the same boiling water you cooked ther cauliflower in ande cook until just shy of al dente. While pasta cooks, remove the sauce from the heat and add two thirds of the shredded cheese and the horseradish, reserved bacon and chives. Stir to combine.

Drain the pasta over the caulifloer to reheat the florets with the hot boiling water. Place the pasta and florets in the hot pot and add the cheese sauce. Stir to combine.

Transfer to a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Place under the broiler to brown the top.

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