Veggie Gratin Mac ‘n Cheese
1 small head or bundle broccoli, trimmed into florets
1 small head cauliflower or half a large head, trimmed and cut into florets
1 pound whole-wheat penne pasta or macaroni
2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup finely chopped chives
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated, or crushed into paste
Few drops hot sauce, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar, divided
Bring large pot of water to boil over medium heat. Salt water; add broccoli and cauliflower florets. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove with a strainer and drain. Add pasta to water and undercook by about 2 minutes, drain. (In other words, cook until pasta is about 2 minutes away from being tender.)
Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine sour cream, mustard, chives, garlic, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Add pasta, vegetables and 2/3 of the cheese. Stir to combine, then transfer to a casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
Cool and refrigerate for a make-ahead meal, or heat and eat.
To heat and eat, place casserole on baking sheet and bake in the middle of a preheated 375°F oven until deeply golden and bubbly, about 40 to 45 minutes.