This is comfort food, pure and simple. Feel free to substitute broccoli for cauliflower. I always find myself craving this as soon as I feel the first crisp in the air. Don’t be too strict on the quantities of ingredients. You like it cheesy – add more Parmesan. You like it creamy – add more cream.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- One 1 lb. box dried ziti, mostaccioli or farfalle pasta
- 1 medium-size head of cauliflower (or two small heads), broken into flowerets
- 2+ cups of heavy cream
- ¼-cup white wine or chicken stock
- 2 to 3 cups grated Parmesan
- 1+ cup breadcrumbs (see tip to make these below)
- 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch or two of paprika (optional)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Butter a large casserole or baking dish.
- Bring two stockpots of water to boil. Cook pasta to al dente in one and boil cauliflower flowerets until just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine cream, wine or stock, and salt and pepper to taste. To this add and toss cooked pasta and flowerets until all are well coated. Add mixture to baking dish.Top with parmesan cheese.
- Stir together bread crumbs, parsley, pinch of paprika, and olive oil and salt to taste. Crumble breadcrumb mixture over entire casserole. Sprinkle top with salt.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until top is crispy.
*WINE SUGGESTION: This rich, unctuous dish pairs nicely with a dry Gewurztraminer or Pinot Gris. We’re fans of Colorado’s own Stone Cottage Cellars in Paonia, CO.