Terrific! We screwed this up as much as we possibly could and it still turned out great. I would hardly say this is kn any way a "light" recipe, though.
I agree with another review here. I had some shells that were hard, the sage was too much, and I could not taste the cheeses. I doubt I’ll make it again.
My family and I loved this dish! As noted in some of the other reviews, it is a more dry Mac and Cheese recipe by design and as shown in the picture. But we loved the crispiness and there is enough cheese flavor. Plus the Fontina cheese is a nice change from cheddar. I feel this recipe has less fat than traditional mac and cheese and the use of cauliflower (rather than a full pound of macaroni) lets me feel better about serving it! After noting that other reviewers found the recipe dry, I added an egg (and parsley and salt) to the ricotta cheese and spread it over the first layer rather than dolloping scoops in certain places. I am not sure what she means by "fresh" ricotta as I just used the ricotta in a tub that I found at my grocery store. But maybe fresh ricotta has more moisture like fresh Mozzarella, and that's why I added the egg. Also, you need to use the bread crumb topping, as it helps to keep the moisture underneath. The recipe calls for enough to spread over the entire dish. I will make this again!
Good stuff!!! Couldn't stop picking.
Just wondering if I could substitute Gorgonzola for the fontina cheese for a sharper flavour? Looks so good!
I agree with Hattie and others. Our dish turned out very dry and we spooned sour cream over the top for emergency moisture. I think we had the wrong kind of ricotta--we bought the expensive variety, which never melted. A béchamel sauce sounds right. But we found the spicy mixture of seasonings quite pleasing.
Loved it! I also added a bit of white wine to the bottom of the dish before baking. I liked it very much as a main dish, the textures and flavor combinations, but I actually think this would be a fabulous side dish to a tenderloin roast or a rib roast. Definitely a great hearty winter dish that I will keep in my book!
Good recipe but found it too salty, if I make it again I would add no salt to the recipe.
Great article, really helpful and really tasty
I followed the recipe to the tee - and served as a side dish at Thanksgiving. It was perfect. The cauliflower lightened it up vs if it were ALL pastas. The number of cheeses gave me pause as I am not a fan of a heavy rich mac and cheese. The lemon zest and ricotta was bright and light. It was so good I have been requested to bring this to Christmas dinner. The leftovers were great as well. It was like a white lasagna. Decadent lunch with a glass of chardonnay. Loved this.
This dish was insanely popular at a Thanksgiving potluck I attended. I used the entire box of shells and added a wee bit more cheese. I used Costco's Pecorino which is quite delicious and well-priced. Can't wait to make this again.
Made this with some modifications: (1) I roasted the cauliflower to free up my pan and hands for other things; (2) cooked some crumbled Italian turkey sausage with onion. Added the sage to mellow it a bit after other commenters noted it was bitter/strong; (3) folded the ricotta in as opposed to dollops for more even spread; (4) didn't have panko on hand but had regular breadcrumbs. Combined as directed except subbed butter for olive oil. YUMMY!
In making this I tweaked the recipe by adding a white wine and cream sauce. I also added broccoli to the dish. I served it at a family reunion and everyone enjoyed immensely.
This didn't turn out well! Before it got baked and the ricotta was added I thought it was great and was going to take it to Thanksgiving dinner. The ricotta added nothing, it was just blobs of bland cheese that didn't even get hot enough when baked. It all tasted bitter after it was cooked. Not sure if it was the sage, the cauliflower, or the uncooked garlic that made it all taste so bitter. On top of that the fontina dried out and the pasta on the top got hard. I think there should have been a béchamel for the cheese, the garlic should have been cooked in the butter for the roux and only a small amount of dried sage should have been added to the béchamel (if at all). The browned cauliflower seemed bitter also after being baked so I would try just throwing it in the microwave if I try making this again. This dish was a lot of work and it was so disappointing when it ended up tasting bad! It doesn't seem that anyone tests recipes anymore before they post them on the internet.
This was amazing! I was surprised there was no roux involved like in most baked mac and cheese but I trust Ina. Loved the fresh lemon flavor that shined through and the creamy ricotta (I used part-skim) bites throughout. I highly recommend. I didn't use sage since I didn't have any but did add other herbs instead. I also omitted the capers although I would have liked to use them. I just didn't want to make another trip to the store. The perfect amount of cheese without feeling over the top. I love that the recipe does not use butter or cream.
Absolutely LOVED this dish. Loved the combination of sage, capers, lemon zest and crushed pepper to bring a delicious spark to this decadent creamy dish. The cauliflower was nutty and delicious after searing, and the Fontina added another layer of flavor- lots of layers of flavor here- makes a ton and can be made ahead of time. A real keeper!
Faboulous! such a tasty idea. Baked shells and cauliflower is surprisingly good. Just had them awhile back along with carrot sticks and my ranch dip, it was soo good..
This was really good. If not for the sage I'd have given it 5 stars. I found the sage very overpowering and I'm not sure complimentary to the other flavours next time if either leave it out completely or use dried sage so it would be more evenly dispersed. I used Gouda instead of fontina because my local store didn't have fontina.