Ricotta Cauliflower Cream Pasta w/ Toasted Garlic Bread Crumbs

Ricotta Cauliflower Cream Pasta w/ Toasted Garlic Bread Crumbs

I have a super comforting and delicious recipe today for Pasta tossed in a Ricotta Cauliflower Cream sauce with a Toasted Garlic Bread Crumb topping. If you have a hard time getting your family to eat their pesky vegetables than this is your calling. They’ll never detect the cauliflower in the finished dish and after tasting it they won’t even care. You can serve this as a meatless meal or as a side dish.

The base of the cream sauce is made by pureeing cauliflower florets and ricotta together, then mixing in fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese. Because cauliflower loves Parmesan. The bread crumbs are pan fried in olive oil that has first been infused with garlic. The garlic is scooped out and set aside to toss with the pasta along with a hit or two of red pepper to perk it up.

Ricotta Cauliflower Cream Pasta w/ Toasted Garlic Bread Crumbs

I have a strong preference for cauliflower over its other family member, broccoli. I love it. It’s milder and gentler in taste and smell. Because it borders on bland and boring, it is a blank canvas for flavors. My favorite way to eat it is mashed with Parmesan and a drizzle of Olive oil. Garlic too. If I’m motivated.

The first thing you will notice is how the textures play off each other. Silky, smooth sauce vs. crispy, crunchy bread crumbs. Then the flavors. Milky sauce vs. earthy bread crumbs. Add to this the ‘toothsome’ texture of whole-grain pasta and your taste buds will sing. In perfect harmony. For seconds, please.

Ricotta Cauliflower Cream Pasta w/ Toasted Garlic Bread Crumbs

Ricotta Cauliflower Cream Pasta with Toasted Garlic Bread Crumbs
(by Reeni)
3 cups Italian Bread, cubed
6 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1/3 cup Olive Oil
8 ounces Pasta
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 cups Cauliflower Florets, cooked
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, plus additional for serving
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley or Basil leaves, minced
Sea or Kosher Salt and fresh Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toast bread cubes until crispy. Use a food processor to chop into crumbs.
2. In a large skillet heat oil, saute garlic over low heat until fragrant. (If it starts to brown remove pan from heat and immediately remove the garlic using a slotted spoon). Set aside.
3. Add the bread crumbs to the oil and saute over medium-low heat until golden brown and toasted, stirring often.
4. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.
5. Meanwhile using a food processor puree ricotta and cauliflower together until smooth. Remove to a large mixing bowl. Mince the garlic you set aside earlier and add it along with the parsley and Parmesan. (and Red Pepper if desired). Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add the cooked, drained pasta to the ricotta mixture and toss well. Serve with bread crumbs sprinkled over top, extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan.

Ricotta Cauliflower Cream Pasta w/ Toasted Garlic Bread Crumbs

I’m sending this to my April Side Dish Showdown.  

Don’t forget to send me your side dishes!

Ricotta Cauliflower Cream Pasta w/ Toasted Garlic Bread Crumbs

I’m submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Daphne of More Than Words this week.

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