Broccoli & Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Brrr!!! It is certainly the frozen tundra today! I mean frozen! This is what I looked like when going outside today:

Eskimo Style

But I doubt this is news to you as the entire country is experiencing bone chilling temperatures today. It was a surprise to me today when I experienced some car trouble over the past 48 hours. I was able to drive my car to the store yesterday but not able to drive it home right away. After purchasing jumper cables a couple hours later my car started right away without a jump. Then today it started fine but no heat. So I moved it into the garage, let it warm up, started it and voila- heat! Once the engine was warm I took it to have the battery replaced which seemed to be the issue and I was correct. I heard that subzero temps drain 80% of the battery and considering I’ve had my car for 4 years and not had to replace the battery until now, buying a new one today wasn’t terrible.

Whew! Hopefully today and yesterday wasn’t nearly as eventful for you as it was for me! Today I have a wonderful recipe for you to try: Broccoli and Cauliflower Pasta Bake. This recipe is from the What’s for Dinner? cookbook by the handsome, Australian chef, Curtis Stone. I have been dying to try it and the cold temps had me ready to prepare this warm and tasty dish! So take a break from your New Year’s resolutions and give this hearty meal a try. :)

Broccoli and Cauliflower Pasta Bake

Broccoli & Cauliflower Pasta Bake

3-6 tbsp olive oil
1 head of cauliflower cut into bite size florets
Kosher salt
Black pepper
8 oz penne pasta
1 small yellow onion, chopped (chop finely if you like onions or larger if you like to pick them out like me)
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp all purpose flour
2 c milk
1 c heavy cream
1 1/4 c shredded white cheddar cheese (I suggest against pre-shredded cheese)
1 c breadcrumbs

1. Position racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. On a large baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on the baking sheet and repeat with the broccoli on a second baking sheet. Back for 10 minutes to 20 minutes, until the veggies are tinged brown. Switch the positions of the baking sheet from top to bottom halfway through.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the penne and cook about 7 minutes or one minute less than the package directions. Drain the penne.
4. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and add the onions and thyme. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the onions are tender and slightly browned. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture, then stir and cook for about 1 minute.
5. Gradually stir in the milk and cream. Increase the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring often, for about 4 minutes, or until the sauce is lightly thickened and has no raw flour taste. Remove from heat, add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Add the veggies and penne to the cheese sauce and fold together. Spread evenly in a 9 x 13 baking dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray. In a small bowl, toss the bread crumbs with one tablespoon of olive oil and then sprinkle over the pasta and vegetable mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before enjoying.

Recipe Source: What’s for Dinner?

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