Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Author: Marv
Print Recipe


  • 8 slices of pancetta
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 lb dried macaroni about 450 g
  • 9 0 z mature Cheddar cheese 250 g
  • 4 thick slices of country bread
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 9 oz creme fraiche 250 g, or substitute with regular sour cream, avoid low or non-fat
  • Parmesan cheese to serve


  • Preheat your oven to 425 F. Put the coarse grater attachment into the food processor
  • Lay the pancetta in a roasting tray/casserole dish (large enough to bake the pasta in) and put on the top shelf of the oven. Get rid of any outer leaves from the cauliflower, then trim off the tough base of the stalk and quarter the head. Put in a large saucepan, core down, with the pasta, on a high heat. Cover with a boiling water, filling and reboiling the kettle/pot if necessary. Season with a good pinch of salt, drizzle over a little olive oil, then stir and cook according to packet instructions, with the lid askew
  • Grate the Cheddar in the food processor and tip into a bowl. Fit the standard blade attachment, then get your pancetta out of the oven and blitz in the processor with the bread, rosemary leaves and a good drizzle of olive oil until you have a coarse breadcrumb consistency
  • Put a colander over a large bowl to catch the pasta water, then drain the pasta and cauliflower. Tip into the roasting tray you cooked your pancetta in, and put over a low heat. Add about 2 cups of the reserved pasta water from the bowl. Crush in 2 unpeeled cloves of garlic and mix in the creme fraiche and grated Cheddar, gently breaking up the cauliflower with tongs or a potato masher. Have a taste and correct the seasoning. It should be nice and loose; if not, add another splash of the pasta water
  • Spread out evenly and scatter over the breadcrumbs you made earlier. Put on the top shelf on the oven for about 8 minutes, or until golden and bubbling
  • When ready to serve, shave over some Parmesan cheese