Baked Pasta with Cauliflower and Cheese

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baked pasta with cauliflower done

This is comfort food at it’s best.  This recipe is adapted from New Recipes From Moosewood Restaurant cookbook.  It makes a huge dish of pasta, even for my family, so you may want to cut the recipe in half.

Here’s what you’ll need:

baked pasta with cauliflower ingr

For the sauce:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 quart milk, heated
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

Other ingredients:

  • vegetable oil for sauteing
  • large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 3 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 pound pasta shells
  • 1 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • seasoned bread crumbs

Prepare the sauce: melt the butter in a sauce pan.  Whisk in the flour until smooth, cooking for a minute over medium heat.  Gradually whisk in the warm milk.  Add the mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Let it cook over low heat, whisking every once in a while until thickened a bit.  Remove from heat and cover.

Saute the onions and garlic in oil.  When they are cooked soft, add the cauliflower and saute for 5 or so minutes.  Add the tomatoes and basil and simmer until the cauliflower is tender.

Cook and drain the pasta.  Combine the pasta, veggies and lemon juice.  Mix in the sauce.  Put half into a greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle with half the cheese.  Add the rest of the pasta mixture.  Top with the rest of the cheese.  Sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  Bake covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake about 15 more minutes until browned and bubbling.

baked pasta with cauliflower pan

I’m showing this off at The Greenbacks Gal Meatless Monday

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  1. This looks insanely delicious. I mean – ridiculously delicious. I cannot wait to try!

  2. You know, cauliflower doesn’t give me any warm fuzzies, but hid it in enough cheese and pasta, and I’m willing to give it a go!

  3. OMG, seriously…I want to try this right now. Soph likes cheese, pasta and cauliflower, so she’ll probably at least try it…I wish my son would…even this deliciousness would not meet his approval–guess that leaves more for me, right?

  4. Oooh, now this is something my youngest son would like! He actually just begged me to buy some cauliflower : )

  5. I cannot wait to try this. We have pasta night on Thursdays, and I am getting so bored of the same things! Plus, I love meals where the veggies are baked right in (especially when they are covered in cheese). It’s much easier to get my kiddos to eat them!

  6. This looks really good. I’ll be trying it this week.

  7. I made this for dinner tonight and you weren’t kidding when you said it makes a lot! It wasn’t as cheesy tasting/feeling as I anticipated, but I liked it. It’s a nice, mildly flavored comfort food. The seasoned bread crumbs were a *perfect* addition. I think next time I’ll kick it up a little notch with pepperjack instead of mozzarella. I love pepperjack. A lot. 🙂

  8. This is definitely a ton of pasta! I separated it and froze a bag to cook next time. I forgot to cover it so mine looks a little different but still yummy 🙂

  9. This looks great. I have the old Moosewood cookbook – might need to check out the new one!

    Thanks for the link!

  10. I’m going to make this tonight with broccoli instead of cauliflower…just because I have it on hand and this sounds so good I can’t wait until my next grocery trip:o)

    • Worked out well with broccoli…our family of 6 ate 3/4 of it…and it really does make a ton so that’s a sure sign it was enjoyed!!

  11. Made this tonight-one to freeze and one to eat! Very hearty and yummy 🙂 Will definitely make again.

  12. Sounds so delicious, will have to try it in the Fall.

  13. Is there a way to save this to my Ziplist? Or maybe I’m just missing it??


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