When in doubt, pasta. It’s quick, it’s shelf-stable, and it goes with most anything. Without further ado, here’s the recipe. (With a special shout out to my friend at the elementary school who loves “white broccoli.”)
Pasta Tossed with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Garlic
3 cloves of garlic
1 handful of cherry tomatoes
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup chickpeas (optional)
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup to 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
dash of Dijon mustard
1/2 pound dried pasta of your choice (we chose “Wacky Mac” because it was interesting)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place garlic, cherry tomatoes, and the cauliflower florets (tossed with olive oil) on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, turning the pan around once, and tossing as needed.
3. Meanwhile, place a pot of water on the stove to boil. When it’s boiling, add salt and pasta. Cook according to directions.
4. Also meanwhile (I believe in you Gentle Reader, keep moving!), melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour when the butter is just melted, and whisk till smooth. Cook the flour and butter to make a light roux, not too brown (2-3 minutes, max).
5. Stir in the milk, keep whisking until mixture thickens slightly, just a few minutes more. Stir in cheese and mustard, whisk until smooth. (Congratulations, you’ve just made poor man’s bechamel. You can change the cheese and herb profile to make mac and cheese, or any other pasta plus smooth cheese sauce combo.)
6. Check on garlic. If it’s soft and roasted, take it off the baking sheet, peel it, and mash it into the sauce. Test for flavor, add salt and pepper as needed.
7. Drain the cooked pasta and place into serving bowl. Toss with sauce. Add remaining roasted veggies and chickpeas, if desired. Toss gently. Top with minced parsley. Enjoy!
And that brings us back to Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. Tomorrow look for another week of menus and a whole lotta punting.
I would also like to take this opportunity to say that the Practical Cook loves the challenge of Snack Week, but she did an actual dance of joy in her kitchen that her tenure ended on Friday. Fortunately no one had the Flip camera in hand. Perhaps next time.