Wish Upon A Dish: Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Creme Fraiche

January 31, 2011

Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Creme Fraiche

I do not think I will make baked macaroni and cheese any other way then this from now on.

Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Creme Fraiche
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes 8 servings

* 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1" florets
* 2 large tomatoes
* 5 tablespoons butter, divided
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
* Kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons WW flour
* 1 cup heavy whipping cream
* 3 cups coarsely grated Comte cheese or 1/2 Gruyere-1/2 Fontina) divided
* 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, also divided
* 1 cup creme fraiche
* 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon
* 10 ounces penne
* 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Cook cauliflower in large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Using large sieve, transfer cauliflower to bowl. Add tomatoes to water and cook 1 minute to loosen peels.. Remove and peel and dice. Reserve water to cook penne in.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower, saute until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, green onions and season with salt & pepper. Remove from heat.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Cook until sauce thickens, Add 2 cups cheese, whisk until melted and sauce is smooth. Whisk in 1/2 cup Parmesan then creme fraiche and mustard. Season with salt & pepper.

Bring reserved pot of water back to a boil and cook penne, drain. Add to cauliflower and sauce.

Butter baking dish. Spoon half of penne mix in and top with 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining pasta mix and 1/2 cup cheese. Melt butter in small skillet and add breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Sprinkle over pasta.

Preheat oven to 350F and bake, uncovered 35 minutes, until bubbly.

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