In an effort to save $ I planned to use half a head of Napa cabbage shredded with pasta, cheese, and leftover cream. Plus I was parsimoniously planning to turn stale bread into crusty crumbs. But that plan bit the dust as I unfurled leaf after mildewed cabbage leaf. Gross.
That left the cauliflower. While a fan of roasted veg, I couldn't bear it again. Thus “the way better than I have any right to expect it to be meat free Monday pasta” was born. And I still got to make crusty crumbs!
At least 4 inches baguette or some other loaf, ground in food processor
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/2 head large, or a whole head of small cauliflower, cut into florets
12 ounces pasta of choice
1/4 cup cream (frankly 1/2 is better)
1/3 cup Italian cheese of choice
5 tablespoons olive oil
Nub of butter (optional and not needed if using 1/2 cup cream!)
Start pasta water with a big sprinkle of salt. When water boils, add pasta. Add cauliflower when there's about 4 minutes left of cooking time. Before draining save 3/4 cup of cooking water.
Meanwhile heat large skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add a teaspoon-ish chopped garlic. When it smells good (:30) add the crumbs, sprinkle with salt and stir occasionally until crunchy. Put in separate bowl and wipe skillet.
As pasta finishes cooking, add 3 tablespoons olive oil to skillet over medium heat, plus remaining garlic. When it smells good (:30) add drained pasta and cauliflower. Toss. Adding at least 1/2 cup cooking liquid – it will keep pasta and garlic from sticking to the pan. Plus it gets absorbed. Add cream and cheese. Stir. Top with crusty crumbs.
Eat – B
BTW – It really only takes 20 minutes despite the lengthy instruction.
BBTW – why over share ingredients. My non cheese lover couldn't tell you what was in the dish.