Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Southerwestern Pasta & Cauliflower Casserole

This is sort of a version of mac and cheese, but Trader Joe's did not have whole wheat macaroni. Therefore, it is a whole wheat penne casserole. Mark Bittman has a mac and cheese recipe in Food Matters where you use pureed cauliflower instead of milk. This recipe borrows form that, and from my mom's recipe, and adds chili powder, corn, pasillas, and zucchini. This recipe made a bunch of extra cheese sauce, which can be enjoyed over pasta or vegetables -- or you can double the vegetables and pasta and make a bigger mac and cheese. I also suggest adding some sausage or ham if you eat meat.

4 oz whole wheat penne, cooked
2 pasilla chiles, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ear sweet corn
1 bunch chives, chopped finely
1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked in hot water
5 small zucchini, chopped
2 cups baby spinach
1 head cauliflower, stem and leaves removed
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 onion, grated
1/2 cup panko
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded
1 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add cauliflower, breaking up the florets. This will boil for about 25 minutes until it is really soft.

In the meantime, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in another pan and add pasillas and garlic. Sautee until soft, then add zucchini and corn kernels. If the bottom of the pan begins to brown add a little vegetable broth and scrape up the brown bits. Let these vegetables continue cooking until they are cooked through but not soft, and remove from the heat.

When cauliflower is soft, combine cauliflower, cheddar cheese, grated onion, sundried tomatoes, vegetable broth, and almond milk and puree. In a saucepan, melt 1 tbsp butter and then add the flour. Stir flour and butter together until well combined. Add a portion of the puree, using a whisk to incorporate the flour. Add the rest of the puree, the chili powder, black pepper, salt if desired, and spinach, and stir. Let simmer for several minutes, adding more almond milk or broth if you prefer a thinner sauce.

Preheat oven to 400. Mix together penne, vegetables, and puree in a lasagna pan. If you're not worried about points, sautee the panko in butter before scattering it across the top. If you are, forget the butter and just scatter it. Top with parmesan shreds and pop in the oven for 25 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment