I served it with an amazing savory caprese bread (blog post on this one to come) and a side salad.
This recipe was inspired by one I found on Pinterest from the blog Pip & Ebby.
- 16 oz. of orecchiette "little ear" pasta
- 1 small/medium head of cauliflower, core & leaves removed, cut into florets
- 2 cups shredded Italian mix cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Water, milk or broth to thin the sauce
- Shredded Parmesan
- Fresh basil, chopped
- Crumbled chicken sausage, cooked (this is an optional addition if you want to bulk up the protein on this meal - we eat mostly vegetarian in my house, so I didn't personally try it with the sausage - I do think it would be tasty, though. If you want to add this, do so at the same time you combine the cooked pasta noodles and the cauliflower sauce together)
Cook the pasta for 1 or 2 minutes less than the al dente time given on the box. You will cook the pasta again in the oven - so you want to slightly undercook the pasta on the first go 'round to prevent mushy pasta as the finished product.
Steam cauliflower florets for 6-8 minutes until soft when pierced with a fork.
Place the steamed cauliflower, 1 cup of cheese, sour cream, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a large food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Check for consistency. I added about 1/4 cup of water to thin it out a bit....add a little at a time until it is your desired consistency. You could also add broth or milk.
Set the oven to broil.
Combine the cooked pasta and cauliflower sauce in an large oven safe skillet or a large baking dish. Stir until well combined. Smooth the top of the pasta mixture out on top so it is all even. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese. Sprinkle with more Parmesan and freshly cut basil.
Place the skillet under the broiler for two minutes at a time - keep checking to make sure it doesn't burn. I think I broiled mine for about 6 minutes total, checking on it every two minutes.