Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cauliflower MacnCheez

White creamy sauce wrapped around tender pasta, topped with zingy fresh tomato and smoky crunchy breadcrumbs.

Serves 4 to 6


Cauliflower White Sauce
  • 400g fresh cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons barley miso
  • 3 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
Smoky Breadcrumbs
  • 3 slices fresh bread processed into about 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300g extra firm tofu
  • 1 packet (500g) macaroni or other small pasta
  • 1 medium fresh tomato, sliced thinly

Cauliflower Sauce

Steam the cauliflower until tender.  Whilst the cauliflower is steaming, saute the onion in the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat until the onion is translucent and soft.  Add the tender steamed cauliflower to to the onion and olive oil, and mash.  Pour in 1 cup of water (can use the steaming water for extra cauliflower flavour) and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add another 1/2 cup water and take the saucepan off the heat.

Carefully blend the cauliflower with a immersion blender or food processor until smooth and place back into the saucepan.  Place the saucepan over a low heat and whisk in the lemon juice, non dairy milk, barley miso, rice flour and white pepper.  Simmer, whisking constantly, for a minute to thicken slightly, and then take off the heat.

Smoky Breadcrumbs

Mix the breadcrumbs with the smoked paprika and olive oil.

Putting it all together

Cook the pasta as per the packet's instructions until tender.  Drain.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Crumble the extra firm tofu into the bottom of a baking dish, approximately 25 to 30 cm long by about 20cm wide and at least 10cm deep.

Mix in a third of the cauliflower sauce with the crumbled tofu.  Pour in half of the cooked pasta and mix thoroughly.  Pour in another third of the cauliflower sauce and the other half of the cooked pasta and mix thoroughly.  Press down the pasta to make a flat surface and pour on the remaining cauliflower sauce and smooth over the pasta.

Top with the thinly sliced fresh tomato.

Spoon on the smoky breadcrumbs and press them down firmly.

Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the edges are browned and the breadcrumbs are crispy.

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

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