I'd like to present the first of a series of posts (hopefully weekly) where I will share what I'm cooking from Friedel's cookbook collection (now my cookbook collection). I'll try to mix it up and use as many of the cookbooks as possible, though I can't promise I won't repeat cookbooks. It'll depend a bit on what I have in my fridge to work with.
Today I had a head of cauliflower that needed to be cooked. And I've got to make something that will appeal to the 11 year old I hang out with once a week. I'm not going to have time to prepare anything tomorrow, so something cooked ahead of time would be a huge help.
Baked Pasta with Cauliflower and Cheese
from New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, p.158-159
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 cups milk, heated
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- pinch of nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil for sauteing
- 4 cups chopped onions (I used 2 large onions)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
- 6 ripe tomatoes or 3 cups canned tomatoes (I used probably half of this, but they were tomatoes from my mom's garden which are twice as flavourful as any other tomatoes around)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp. dried basil)
- 3 Tbs. lemon juice (completely forgot to add this!)
- 1 pound pasta shells (I used 1 box of whole wheat macaroni)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (I used cheddar)
- seasoned bread crumbs
Saute the onions, garlic and basil in oil. When the onions are translucent, add the cauliflower and saute for 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and simmer until the cauliflower is tender.
Cook pasta al dente and then drain.
In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, the sauteed vegetables and lemon juice (oops! forgot that one). Mix in the Bechamel sauce. Put half the pasta mixture in an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle half of each of the cheeses over top. Add the rest of the past mixture, and the rest of the cheese. Top with seasoned bread crumbs.
Bake covered at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, and then uncovered for about 15 minutes or until bubbling and golden on top.
PS. The recipe suggests you serve this with Italian greens, but I'm going to serve it with roasted kale, because the kid loves roasted kale, and the green + garlic will go so well with cheesy pasta. :)