Mac & Cheese all grown up

By in Recipes


  • 2 cups cavatappi pasta (corkscrew)
  • 1 cup purple cauliflower florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs

Ingredients for the cheese sauce:

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 asparagus stalks, blanched and shocked, cut into 1” slices on a bias
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato, sliced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp dijon
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 ½ cups 2% milk
  • 3 cups grated medium cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • ½ lb. smoked bacon, finely diced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest


  • Preheat oven to 380 °F.
  • Boil pasta until al dente, then drain and rinse with cold water. Return the pasta to the pot and stir in olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • In a sauce pan on medium heat, cook bacon and render out the fat, cook until golden brown and remove to paper towel.
  • In a medium sized pot, melt the butter, then add all dry ingredients for sauce and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and stir for 8 to 10 minutes, as sauce will thicken.
  • Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower florets for 2 minutes and put aside. Remove sauce from heat and stir in 2 cups of cheese. Add asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and cauliflower and fold gently.
  • Add cheese sauce to noodles and stir well. Gently fold in the cauliflower florets. Add mixture to a 9 x 13 pan and top with remaining cheese, then bake for 15 minutes.
  • Set oven to broil, top with bread crumbs and cook until golden brown. Let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.


(Serves 4 – 6)

Devan Rajkumar
His dedication and professionalism for his craft as a culinary and food expert is evidenced by his relentless passion and ambition to become one of the best in the food service industry.


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