Cauliflower and cheese sauce is a classic pairing for good reason, and it only gets better when pasta is added to the mix. We've opted for a crumble of piquant Gorgonzola throughout, too.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300 gm cauliflower, cut into florets and thinly sliced (about ½ head)
- 400 gm dried strozzapreti or other short pasta
- 40 gm butter, diced
- 40 gm plain flour
- 600 ml pouring cream
- 300 ml milk
- 120 gm pecorino, finely grated, plus extra for scattering
- 3 tsp coarsely chopped thyme, plus extra to serve
- Pinch of finely grated nutmeg
- 60 gm Gorgonzola piccante, crumbled, plus extra to serve
- 40 gm coarsely chopped roasted hazelnuts
- 1Preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat and fry cauliflower in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, adding a little extra oil to pan between batches if necessary (4-5 minutes).
- 2Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of well-salted boiling water until not quite al dente (6-7 minutes). Drain and return to pan with 2 tbsp cooking water.
- 3Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add flour and stir until sandy. Bring cream and milk just to a simmer in a separate saucepan, then, whisking continuously, gradually add to flour mixture and whisk until smooth and thickened. Season to taste. Whisk in pecorino, thyme and nutmeg, add to pasta along with cauliflower and Gorgonzola and fold to combine. Transfer to an oiled 3-litre baking dish, scatter with hazelnuts and extra pecorino, and bake until bubbling and golden brown (25-30 minutes). Scatter with extra thyme and Gorgonzola, and serve hot.
Drink Suggestion: Top-quality chardonnay Drink suggestion by Max Allen
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