|Photo credit to Sara at ourbestbites.com|
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small head cauliflwer, cored and chopped (about 3 cups)
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 medium shallots, roughly chopped (or sub about 1/2-3/4 cup diced onion)
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
4 cups skim milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I did just under that, between 1/8-1/4)
6 ounces Pecorino cheese, grated (about 2 cups- could sub fresh grated Parmesan)
1/2 pound medium multigrain pasta shells or bowties
1/4 pound sliced smoked ham, chopped (about 1 cups)
1 medium bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets (3-5 cups)
optional: 1/2 cup toasted whole-wheat panko (Japanese bread crumbs) for serving.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cauliflower, garlic, shallots, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until softened but not brown, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with flour; stir to coat well.
Gradually stir in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; gently simmer until cauliflower is very soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer all to a blender, and puree with nutmeg and half the pecorino until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until slightly tender but not fully cooked, about 5 minutes. (Note: If you like your broccoli pretty tender, add it to boiling pasta water for a couple of minutes before draining) Drain well; return to pot. Add ham, broccoli, and cauliflower sauce; toss to combine. Transfer to an ovenproof 3 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining pecorino, and bake until bubbling in center, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler, and broil until golden brown on top, 1-2 minutes. Divide among dishes, top with breadcrumbs (if using), and serve immediately.
Recipe Source: Our Best Bites