Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cauliflower Pasta

Whenever I buy cauliflower I have so much I don't know what to do with it all - a head of it goes a long way, and this was my 3rd recipe using this one. I've made a cauliflower mac and cheese in the past that I really liked, so I sort of took ideas from that recipe and this one from Rachel Ray, and made up something a little different tonight for dinner!

1. Add your olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Once a bit hot, add the green onion stems (the white parts). After 2 mins, add the garlic and saute again for a couple minutes.
2. Next add the chicken stock, chopped cauliflower florets, salt, pepper and rosemary. Let the cauliflower steam for a good 10 minutes, turning down the temp to low, or until it seems like it will mush down easily when mashing it.
3. While the cauliflower is cooking, boil some water with a dash of salt to get your pasta cooking. Whole wheat pasta tends to take a bit longer to cook than regular pasta, and you also want to undercook a little as it will keep cooking a bit when you add it to the cauliflower mix.
4. In a small bowl mix together the milk, lemon juice and grey poupon - you'll notice it frothing a bit when the lemon juice interacts with the milk. At that point it's good to add to the cauliflower mix.
5. Stir everything together well and let it all warm up together. Be sure to keep it on very low heat so you don't boil the milk. Next you can add the cheese and turn the heat off! I used a mixture of shredded parmesan romano and cheddar - mix together until it looks like the cheese has melted.
5. The last step is just to add the cooked pasta to the cauliflower mix and to stir well, but not too much so you don't break up the pasta into pieces. You're done!
6. Serve with a little extra cheese and scallions sprinkled on top.
I have to say, I really liked this on its first shot - I'm not sure if I would really change anything. The recipe I had looked at suggested I used leftover pasta water in the sauce, but instead I used milk, which I thought helped the dish and melted in with the cheese well. I might try out a different blend of cheese to see if it could get better, but I think the different flavors of the lemon, grey poupon, scallions and cheeses played well together. I also think the hearty-ness of the wheat pasta is a little covered by this thicker cauliflower sauce, which for many people is a good thing when they're used to plain white pasta.

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