This is a rich dish perfect for wintry nights. For a fresh element, add a simply dressed bitter-leaf salad.
300 gmdried macaroni400 gmcauliflower (about 1/3 cauliflower), cut into small florets250 ml(1 cup) pouring cream140 gmfirm ricotta100 gmcoarsely grated cheddar, plus extra for scattering100 gmfinely grated parmesan2 tbsp eachcoarsely chopped thyme and flat-leaf parsleyCrunchy rye crumbs30 gmbutter, coarsely chopped1 tbspolive oil150 gmcoarse fresh rye breadcrumbs½garlic clove, finely chopped2 tspthymeFinelygrated rind of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 180C. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente, adding cauliflower in the last 3 minutes of cooking (6-8 minutes). Drain and return both to pan. Add cream, then cheeses and herbs, season generously to taste and mix well. Spread in a 3-litre baking dish, scatter with extra cheddar and bake until golden and bubbling (10-15 minutes).
For crunchy rye crumbs, melt butter and oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming, add crumbs and stir occasionally until crisp and golden brown (4-5 minutes). Add garlic, thyme and lemon rind and stir until fragrant (1 minute). Remove from heat and season to taste. Scatter over hot macaroni and serve.