Oh my will your tummy love you … promise! This is a favorite in our family … and since we had it for dinner last night, I was feeling the sharing love … the recipe is below.
Baked pasta with cauliflower …
1 lb pasta – (ziti, penne, and shells all work well)
1 head of cauliflower (white parts only, cut into small pieces but not too small)
1 cup of chopped onion
1 tbs minced garlic
5 tbs of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of flour
3 cups of milk (whole or low fat work fine, but not skim)
8 oz white sharp cheddar (grated, or sometimes you can find it shredded)
8 oz swiss, shredded
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs (I prefer Panko, but regular are fine too in a pinch)
1 tbs parsley (flat, not curly)
1. Butter a 13 x 9 dish, and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil pasta according to directions – this will vary depending on the kind you use. In the last 5 minutes before it finishes, add the cauliflower.
3. Drain cauliflower and pasta well and set aside.
4. Melt 2 tbs. of unsalted butter in a very large saucepan over medium heat.
5. Add onion, and sauté until it is just translucent.
6. Add garlic, and sauté for a half a minute, then flour and stir for one minute. If it starts to brown, take it off the heat.
7. Add milk, and stir occasionally. Let it cook for about 5-10 minutes, until it starts to bubble and thicken.
8. Add the cheddar and swiss and stir occasionally until they melt.
9. Add the pasta and cauliflower to the cheese, and mix well. Add cayenne and regular pepper, and parsley and mix well.
10. Pour it into the pan.
11. Melt remaining butter (but don’t brown it) and use a fork to mix in the breadcrumbs.
12. Season breadcrumbs with salt and pepper, stir in parmesan cheese.
13. Top mix with breadcrumbs and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes, but check it after 25. The cheese should be all hot and bubbly, and the breadcrumbs a light golden brown.
14. Drop me a comment and tell me you loved it! Trust me – you will.
Serves 6-8 … more as a side dish, or if served with salad.