Three-Cheese Macaroni

This recipe is a “lightened up” version of macaroni and cheese. To lighten it up, they use evaporated milk, less cheese, and cauliflower (to thicken the sauce, I think). This was really good. REALLY GOOD. It was hard to stop myself at one serving. I did use the lower-fat shredded cheddar, and low-fat muenster, so maybe it wasn’t QUITE as calorie-laden. I served this with a Tofurky Roast with Stuffing, gravy and a salad. This was the first time I had made the Tofurky Roast (with stuffing), and can I just say that it was delicious? I made one of the recipes on the side of the box for a basting “oil” I guess you would call it: olive oil, soy sauce, and fresh sage. It turned out perfect, and it felt like Thanksgiving in our house.

rating: 9

Three-Cheese Macaroni
(Food Network magazine, Oct. 2009)

Ingredients:

* 1 large egg
* 1 12-ounce can evaporated whole milk
* Pinch of cayenne pepper
* Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 1/3 cups grated muenster cheese (4 ounces), plus 4 deli-thin slices (1 ounce)
* 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
* 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
* 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (4 cups)
* 4 cups medium pasta shells (9 ounces)

Directions:

Whisk the egg, evaporated milk, cayenne, nutmeg, and salt and black pepper to taste in a bowl. Toss the grated cheeses in a separate bowl.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until almost falling apart, about 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add the pasta to the same water and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Preheat the broiler.

Combine the egg mixture and the grated cheeses in the empty pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the cheeses melt and the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and add the cauliflower. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth and light (you can also use a regular blender). Stir in some of the reserved pasta water until creamy.

Toss the pasta in the sauce; season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a shallow casserole dish and top with muenster slices. Broil until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Weight Watcher Points+ value= 11 per serving (recipe makes 6 servings)

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