Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Start by cooking the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower florets, 2 cups water, and 1 cup milk in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender.
Bring a separate pot of water to a boil for your macaroni. When boiling, add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes before straining. It should be slightly undercooked and still firm. The macaroni is going to cook more in the oven, so please don’t cook it all the way, capiche? (NOTE: Quinoa elbows cook very quickly, so read the directions on the package for cooking time!)
While the cauliflower and pasta are cooking, sauté the sliced chicken sausage in a non-stick pan for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
When the cauliflower has finished cooking, strain it and discard the cooking liquid. Transfer the cauliflower to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the cauliflower puree to the pot over medium-low heat. Whisk 1 cup milk into the puree then slowly add 1¼ cups of the shredded cheddar, the Parmesan, and the ricotta. Season the sauce with kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
Stir the macaroni and chicken sausage into your badass cheese sauce.
Pour the mac and cheese into a skillet or baking dish. I used miniature skillets because they’re cute and good portion control, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
In a small bowl, combine the Panko, Parmesan and smoked paprika. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheddar over your mac and cheese and top with an even layer of the Panko mixture.
Transfer your mac and cheese to the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling slightly. Serve immediately.