Pasta and Cauliflower Au Gratin

Allan got us a cauliflower and some broccoli last week so I was looking for a recipe that would combine those and his love of pasta.

This dish is perfect as it is something we can both eat.  I love it when we are able to have the same meal, not because it is less work making one meal than two, but because it is just so lovely to be sharing the same meal.

Today was a good day, the thaw seems to have started and there has been no snow all day.  Also, we think we might have hot water in the house again in the next few days.  Five weeks without it is hard going. 

And Bob.  Bob has spent the day looking after me.  When I went for a shower in the empty house next to ours he sat watching the door while I was showering.  He has been such a cuddle puppy.  He even showed extreme bravery by snatching one of his toys out of the end of the vaccum.  He really hates the vaccum, so that shows great dedication to his toys!

Pasta and Cauliflower (and Broccoli) Au Gratin

The eagle eyed looking at the picture of this recipe will spot a couple of deliberate mistakes. 

Firstly, rigatoni… not so much.  Spaghetti.

Secondly, cauliflower… a mixture of cauliflower and brocolli.  And yes, broccoli is yellow here. O_O

Thirdly, fresh parsely… as if!

There is another substitution which can’t be seen.  I used mozzarella instead of parmesan in the cheese sauce because that was what I had and I only had enough parmesan for the topping.

Both of us loved the meal.  It tasted great, the nutmeg, as always was a great flavour addition in the sauce.  It was rich and luxurious.  And definitely something I will make again.

The sauce was great, it was the first time I made cheese sauce with cornflour and it won’t be the last.  Other than that it was the same method as I always use for bechamel and cheese sauces.  Lots of stirring until it is smooth and thick and delicious. 

Plateful of deliciousness...

Pasta and Cauliflower Au Gratin – (Food Network)

• 9 ounces (260 g) rigatoni pasta
• 1 medium cauliflower, in florets (I used half a cauliflower and a head of broccoli)
• 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
• 1 tablespoon (15 mL) vegetable oil
• 2 onions, coarsely chopped
• 2 tablespoons (30 mL) cornstarch
• 3 cups (750 mL) milk
• 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) grated Canadian Parmesan cheese, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
• 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground nutmeg
• 1/4 cup (50 mL) bread crumbs
• 2 tablespoons (30 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook pasta for 10 to 12 minutes, adding cauliflower florets after 4 minutes. Cook until pasta and cauliflower are tender.

Meanwhile, in large pan over medium heat, melt butter, add oil and onions, stirring, until onions are lightly browned. Stir in cornstarch and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add milk and cook, stirring, until sauce comes to a boil and is thickened.

Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) of the cheese, and salt, pepper, nutmeg, drained pasta and cauliflower.

Spoon into a buttered 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs, remaining cheese and parsley over pasta mixture.

Place under preheated broiler. Broil until golden brown. Serve immediately.