I love this recipe because it is the perfect example of a “hidden vegetable” — it uses a whole pound of cauliflower to make the cheese sauce — and yet, it blends right into the sauce. Even if my toddler picks out all the delicious peas, he still ends up getting some veggies because the sauce is so full of cauliflower! It’s easy to make, and makes a ton of food, so is great for a party, or if you’re looking to make something that provides lots of left overs for lunch the next day!
Mashing the cauliflower, which acts as the base for the sauce.
Cauliflower Sauce Baked Mac and Cheese with Peas [ Recipe by Neshikot.com ]
16 oz frozen cauliflower (I use Whole Foods Organic)
1 bag frozen peas
1 lb gemelli pasta (or any pasta you prefer)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup whole milk yogurt
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cook cauliflower according to directions on package. I cook mine about a minute longer, to make sure they are easier to mash. Drain and place into a large mixing bowl.
Start cooking pasta according to directions on the box, to al dente. Also start cooking the peas according to the directions on the package.
While pasta and peas are cooking, mash the cauliflower well using a fork or potato masher. Mash until it resembles the mixture above — it does not need to be a perfect puree, but should be mashed enough that you no longer recognize any florets. Mix in the sharp cheddar cheese, yogurt, minced garlic, and salt. When pasta and peas are cooked, add them into the mixture and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 13×9″ baking dish. Pour pasta mixture into dish.
In a separate bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and grated parmesan. Pour this mixture over the pasta using spoonfuls.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, rotating once during the baking time to ensure even cooking. Check occasionally to make sure topping does not burn.