Despite a stupid chef trick performed while prepping this dish, it turned out delicious! Suffice it to say you should not turn the oven off when the directions say to turn it down from 450º to 400º.
Here’s the recipe:
Baked Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt — plus more for pasta water
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 pound Mezzi Rigatoni
4 tablespoons Olive oil — divided
1 large head of cauliflower — cut into small florets 2-2 1/2 lbs
3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons capers — drained
4 cloves garlic — divided
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups Italian Fontina — shredded
1 cup fresh ricotta
1/2 cup panko
6 tablespoons Pecorino cheese — grated
2 tablespoons fresh parsley — chopped
3 slices prosciutto
Preheat the oven to 450°. In a bowl combine 3 cloves of garlic, cauliflower, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread onto parchment paper lined sheet pan and roast until crispy and browned on the edges 20-25 minutes. On another sheet pan spread out three slices of prosciutto and roast until crispy, 15 minutes or so, remove and crumble. Reduce oven temperature to 400º
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook pasta until al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Drain and pour into a very large bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.
Add the additional clove of minced garlic and olive oil to the pasta. When Cauliflower is finished roasting also add to pasta and stir to combine, adding pasta water.
Add the sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, crumbled prosciutto, to the bowl and stir carefully. Stir in the Fontina. Spray a 10 x 13 x 2–inch rectangular baking dish with vegetable spray. Place 1/2 pasta/cauliflower mixture into dish. Spread ricotta on the pasta and spoon the remaining pasta mixture over ricotta. Stir together the panko, Pecorino, parsley and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle it evenly on top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned and crusty on top. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve.
Here’s a picture right out of the oven:
Eat Well…Be Well!