Often when I make dinner for someone else I make a double batch so I have dinner too. When I do my kitchen ends up looking like this.
Does this happen to anyone else? Every pot in the house ends up dirty? This time my wonderful better half husband cleaned up after me. He truly is a saint.
When I doubled the recipe this time I made the two pans of mac and cheese a little different. For my cousin Liz, the recipient of this dinner, I made it almost according to the recipe. Her kiddos are apparently not too big on cooked veggies so I was hoping they wouldn’t notice the cooked cauliflower (they didn’t!). For the batch I kept I went overboard on the veggies adding broccoli and zucchini to the cauliflower and using whole wheat pasta. So so so good.
I want to challenge you to experiment in the kitchen. You don’t have to make a recipe exactly how it is written. Read a recipe this week more like a suggestion. Then make it your own. Sub out ingredients. Add ingredients. Double the ingredients you like, omit ones you don’t. Be a chef!
Here is the recipe. Sorta. I tried to remember all the changes I made and I can’t. This recipe is super flexible. Make it your own.
Mac and Cheese with veggies (Makes a 9×13 pan. Served 4-8 depending on the number of boys)
16 ounces penne pasta (can sub 12 ounces whole wheat as I did in version 2)
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped ( can add 1 head broccoli chopped and 1 zucchini sliced for version 2)
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups grated Cheddar (8 ounces, I used white cheddar)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the cauliflower (and broccoli if using) during the last 4 minutes of cooking time; drain. Return the empty pasta pot to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Saute the onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in the pasta and cauliflower, 1 1/2 cups cheese, sour cream, milk, and mustard. Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn broil on for 2-3 minutes for an extra crispy top layer.