Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins
One visible veggie and one in the sauce....lots of nutrition in something that everyone will want to eat. Good for dinner, breakfast or lunch.
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small head cauliflower, cored and chopped (3 cups)
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 4 medium shallots, roughly chopped
- coarse salt
- ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups skim milk
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 6 ounces pecorino cheese, grated (2 cups)
- 1⁄2 lb medium multigrain pasta shells
- 1⁄4 lb sliced smoked ham, chopped
- 1 medium bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets (5 cups)
- 1⁄2 cup toasted whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs, for serving (Japanese breadcrumbs) (optional)
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cauliflower, garlic, shallots, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until softened but not brown, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with flour; stir to coat well.
- Gradually stir in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; gently simmer until cauliflower is very soft, about 15 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer all to a blender, and puree with nutmeg and half the pecorino until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until slightly tender but not fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Drain well; return to pot.
- Add ham, broccoli, and cauliflower sauce; toss to combine.
- Transfer to a ovenproof 3 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining pecorino, and bake until bubbling in center, about 30 minutes.
- Heat broiler, and broil until golden brown on top, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Divide among dishes, top with breadcrumbs, and serve immediately.