Cheesy Pasta Cauliflower Gratin in Bacon and Panko Crumbs 4 to 6 servings
WHY THIS RECIPE IS SO GOOD? What’s more heart warming than a hot plate of al dente pasta with a hint of nutty, mellow cauliflower that is sauteed to perfection. To die for meaty, smokey bacon goodness and crispy bread crumbs are dancing together with love. The flavors and textures jive flawlessly as it meets the balance of everything. Each ingredients make the senses guessing, of what’s on the next surprise element. With simplicity of its contents , there is no much needed effort to make such an outstanding dish. Sueteed cauliflower in a skillet, until slightly brown to develop its flavors and to removed some of the water to prevent it from becoming mushy. As the well known risotto method, adapted in cooking our pasta where we use a small amount of water, skip the drama draining process and make a creamy sauce right straight for this dish as the pasta continuously cooks. Incorporating the mild heat or cayenne pepper, toning it down a bit with creamy gouda cheese. For the finale, the pasta in crowned with bacon-flavored bread crumbs to add diversity, an amplifier texture into the dish. To end it well with a clean pallet, using a kiss of citrus and lovey herbs.
Mise en Place bowls
4slicesbaconcut into 1/4-inch pieces
2cuppanko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
8 tablespoons olive oil
4500 gramssmall florete cauliflowercored and cut into 1-inch fine chop
8cupwhite onion fine julienne
1teaspoonminced fresh thyme
9 Âcupschicken broth
1cupdry white wine
6tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1teaspooncayenne pepper powder
2teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
2teaspoon lemon juiceplus lemon wedges for serving
400gramsGrated Gouda cheese
PREPARATIONFarfalle, orecchiette, or gemelli can be used as a replacement of the campanelle, if it’s not available. If the pasta was stored for a long time, check for insects that might be hiding in the packaging. If it seems too dry, stir in up to 1/4 cup of hot water.Make sure that the pasta it still al dente or firm to the bite, because this is a major criteria especially for pasta eaters
In a 8-inch skillet cook bacon over medium-high heat until slightly turning brown and crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Add panko and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, making sure that it is evenly cooked, until panko is golden browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the panko mixture to bowl and wipe out the skillet with a clean paper towel.
With 1 tablespoon oil in now-emptied skillet over a medium-high heat until shimmering. Add cauliflower and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is crisp-tender and browned in spots, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, set aside.
Heat up the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven, over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and translucent, add the thyme, rosemary, cayenne pepper powder and cook for 3 to 5 minutes stirring frequently.. Increase heat to high, add chicken broth bring to simmer, add dry white wine, and bring to a boil, a good 5 t0 8 mins to let some of the alcohol to reduce. Add the pasta, stirring frequently, make sure that the pasta is cooking evenly. Soak the pasta that is coming to afloat. If the pasta is still hard gradually add some more water, if it reaches to the point it is nearly cooked get a piece and test bite it. When most of the liquid is absorbed, right before the pasta is al dente, add the gouda cheese, Stir it for about 3 to 5 minutes. wait until the cheese is incorporated
Remove pan from heat; from the pan mix in parsley, lemon juice, and cauliflower; and season with salt and pepper to taste, adjust according to taste preference. Transfer to the plate and serve, adding panko mixture at the top and lemon wedges is given optionally for an additional zesty taste.