Cheesy Cauliflower Pasta

IMG_4208I’ve been meaning to tell you about this cheesy cauliflower pasta, but smoothie bowls keep getting in the way.

I made this for dinner last week my first night after working at a new French bakery in town called Un Je Ne Sais Quoi. I really miss speaking French and eating French pastries, so this seemed like the perfect part-time gig.

That day, the owners (who are French) let me eat one of the merveilleux cakes, which is two meringues, whipped cream in between and whipped cream on the outside. I wasn’t even hungry when I got home, but I decided to make this pasta anyway. It can be the savory to complement the sweet, I figured.

I wasn’t wrong. After I mixed the cheese, roasted cauliflower, toasted breadcrumbs and pine nuts into the noodles, I couldn’t resist. I also took a vat of pasta to the office the next day for lunch.

Even though this pasta is best the day you make it, the leftovers still taste pretty good. Enjoy this recipe before or after you eat a French pastry or other sweet delicacy. During is probably not a good idea, but also not frowned upon.

It’s been a Dr. Dog kind of week, so for a cheesy pasta-making tune, I bring you this song.

Cheesy Cauliflower Pasta (from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, chopped
6 garlic cloves, skin-on
Drizzle of olive oil
Pinch of salt, pepper and red chile flakes
1 cup grated Parmesan
Another pinch of salt
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs
1 pound cavatelli or other short noodles
Parsley leaves for topping

Directions

On a sheet pan, drizzle a head of chopped cauliflower and six skin-on garlic cloves with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and red chile flakes. Roast at 425°, tossing occasionally, until the cauliflower is caramelized and crisp, about 30 minutes. Once cool, peel the roasted garlic cloves.

In a large bowl, combine a cup of grated Parmesan, three tablespoons of butter, a pinch of salt, two tablespoons of toasted pine nuts, and a quarter-cup of toasted breadcrumbs.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook a pound of short pasta (like cavatelli). Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the cooking liquid (I usually end up using around quarter-cup). Toss the hot pasta with the cauliflower, garlic cloves, Parmesan butter mixture, and enough pasta water to mix it all together. Garnish with a handful of torn parsley leaves.

About Emily Wasserman

Hi! My name is Emily and I'm a writer based in St. Louis. If I was stranded on an island and could request three items of food, they would be avocados, Halloumi and chocolate croissants.
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