Hot and bubbly baked pasta shells and cauliflower florets smothered in a rich, creamy three cheese sauce of white cheddar, Swiss and parmesan.
Have you seen those special, vibrant orange heads of cauliflower beaming like sun rays in the market? Their unavoidable. I’m drawn to them like a magnet. The sunshine colored florets cry out for me to tuck them into my cart and give them a home. So I do what any
sucker dedicated food blogger would do and let them have their way.
By doing this I have to entice my family into helping me eat all the cauliflower that somehow winds up in my cart being they don’t have the same deep, abiding love for vegetables that I do.
One of the best ways to pawn some of the vegetables off is by hiding it in something I know they can’t resist. Mixed with pasta and smothered in a three cheese sauce?
Even though they know my tricks by now. I’m notorious for hiding veggies in decadent dishes like this to help balance things out.
The thing is they expect it now and even funnier is they don’t seem to mind.
I can take the most despised vegetable and make it taste so good you won’t even remember why you hated it in the first place.
One of my many hidden talents.
Pasta shells and cauliflower florets are smothered in a rich, creamy three cheese sauce of white cheddar, Swiss and parmesan.
- Cook the pasta to al dente in plenty of salted water according to package directions. Steam the cauliflower just until tender.
- Meanwhile butter a 9 x 13 casserole pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Saute garlic until fragrant. Whisk in flour and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
- Slowly whisk in milk, heavy cream, mustard, paprika and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Turn heat down to low, add the 3 cheeses and stir until smooth and melted. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley.
- Mix the drained pasta and cauliflower together; spread evenly out in prepared pan. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over top. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
- Bake about 30-35 minutes until bubbly all over and golden on top. Allow to set 5-10 minutes before serving.