Smokey Mac n’ Cheese w/ Cauliflower + Speck

Smokey Mac n’ Cheese w/ Cauliflower + Speck

This twist on an American favourite can be served with a fresh garden salad though traditionally is served as a side to BBQ meats. If you can’t get speck or smoked pancetta, substitute with a good quality smoked bacon. For the crumb I like to use old sourdough bread, cutting off the crust and roughly tearing into chunky breadcrumbs, this adds a textural crunch and rustic look to the dish, but panko breadcrumbs will also do the trick. For a vegetarian version just leave out the speck.


1 x 400gm Pkt Duro Macaroni

100gm Speck or smoked pancetta diced

75gm x Unsalted butter

75gm x plain flour

1 litre full cream milk

1 tsp Dijon mustard

150gm cauliflower florets (2cm pieces)

200gm Aged cheddar crumbled

200gm provolone cheese grated (smoked provolone if available)

1 tsp x Spanish Smoked Paprika

150gm Sourdough or Panko breadcrumbs

50gm grated Grana Padano or parmesan

1 x pinch oregano (optional)

1 x pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)

50ml Extra virgin olive oil

Salt flakes and cracked pepper for seasoning



Pre-heat oven to 160 C

Add 1 x 400gm pkt Duro macaroni to 4lts of salted boiling water, cook for 5 minutes, strain and leave to cool. The pasta should be quite al-dente.

Fry the speck or pancetta in a frypan, strain off the fat and set aside.

In a large saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and whisk over a medium heat for 1 minute, add the Dijon then gradually add the milk, stirring constantly until sauce starts to thicken.

Add in the cheddar and provolone cheese and stir until melted and remove from the heat. Mix in the cauliflower florets, smoked paprika and speck, season with salt and pepper then stir in the cooked macaroni.

Pour the mix into a buttered baking dish.

To prepare the crumb, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, chilli flakes and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Scatter on top of the macaroni mixture and drizzle with the olive oil.

Bake for 35-40minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the top is golden.

Serves 4 - 6

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