I made this ah-mazing dish, because I wanted to compete on Chopped at Home. Then the site wouldn’t take my submission.
Turns out I’m from one of the two states that are ineligible for the contest.
Sniff, sniff *single tear*
You guys, I’m so bummed!
I worked really hard on this dish, so I still wanted to share. But darn it – I wish it was for the contest!
Oh! And the recipe uses that super delish Laminated Basil Pasta – so at least there’s that!
Mystery Basket Ingredients:
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce, Mushrooms & Leeks
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 leeks, white & light green parts sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
Olive oil, salt, & pepper
½ lb thick cut bacon, cut in ½-inch slices
6 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
½ lb pasta, cook al dente (I used homemade Basil Laminated Pasta)
½ cup half & half
2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
1 cup finely cut sharp cheddar cheese, such as Sargento
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or silicone mats.
Place the cauliflower florets, 1 sliced leek, and the garlic in a single layer on the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is very tender, stirring once half way through cooking.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet. Once cooked crisp, remove the bacon and set aside. Drain of drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon or enough to coat the pan. Add the remaining leek and the mushrooms. Cook on medium low, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and the leek is just beginning to brown.
Also begin cooking the pasta in a large pot of salted water.
Once the cauliflower is cooked, place half the mixture into a saucepan with the half and half and 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Heat through and puree with an immersion blender (alternately, carefully place all items into a blender and puree), adding additional pasta water as necessary. Stir in the shredded cheese and heat through.
Add the drained pasta, cauliflower cream sauce, and bacon to the skillet with the leek and mushroom mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately with the remaining roasted cauliflower as a side.