Mac & Cheese with Fresh Peas, Cauliflower and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

Pairs Well With

Serves 6


For the Mac & Cheese:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons allpurpose flour

1 cup whole milk

1 cup half-and-half

1¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

½ cup grated Gruyere cheese

6 cups cooked macaroni (made from 10 ounces dry macaroni)

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces

½ cup fresh or frozen peas

For the topping:

2 cups fine dry breadcrumbs (preferably Panko)

½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375° F

Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed, saucepan over medium heat, until sizzling. Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the milk and half-and-half, and continue to stir until the sauce thickens and begins to simmer. Turn off heat, stir in the grated cheddar and the Gruyere until smooth. Fold in the macaroni and ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the cauliflower and cook and stir until lightly browned. Stir in the peas and cook for 2 more minutes. Mix the cauliflower and peas with the macaroni and spread in a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

To make the topping, mix the breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the macaroni. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown.