Cauliflower and sausage pasta bake
- Difficulty: Average
- Prep time: 30 min
- Cook time: 50 min
- Serving: 4 people
- Cost: Low
Let's face it, baked pasta is always delicious... and that's why it can be a way to make even less favored ingredients appealing. After the success of Sausage and broccoli baked pasta, here is the baked pasta with cauliflower and sausage! A white version seasoned with a special béchamel sauce, flavored with the cooking water of the cauliflower. Moreover, we have enriched the pasta with bits of sausage and melting buffalo mozzarella, which adds a distinctive smoky note. Ideal for freezing or preparing in advance, the baked pasta with cauliflower and sausage might turn out to be an unexpected main course and a highly requested dinner saver!
If you like baked pasta, you might love there other recipes too:
- Sedanini Rigati pasta 11.3 oz (320 g)
- Cauliflower (700 g)
- Sausage 11 oz (300 g)
- Mozzarella di bufala cheese 3.5 oz (100 g)
- Garlic 1 clove
- Thyme to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
- Fine salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
How to prepare Cauliflower and sausage pasta bake
To make baked pasta with cauliflower and sausage, first clean the cauliflower 1 and cut into small florets 2. Boil a pot of salted water and cook the cauliflower for about ten minutes, or until the florets are slightly tender 3.
Meanwhile, remove the casing from the sausage and cut it into chunks of about 3/4 inch 4. Drain the cauliflower in a bowl and save the cooking water for the béchamel sauce 5. Set aside some florets and mash the rest with a fork 6.
In a pan, fry the garlic clove with a little oil, then add the sausage 7 and brown briefly, just long enough to sear it 8. Remove the garlic and take out the sausage, leaving the cooking juices in the pan 9.
In the same pan, add the reserved cauliflower florets 10 and sauté them quickly 11. Adjust for salt if necessary, then set aside. For the béchamel: melt the butter in a saucepan, then add all the flour at once 12.
Stir with a whisk to make a roux 13, then add about 26 oz of the cauliflower cooking water 14 and continue stirring until you get a smooth and thick sauce 15.
Pour the béchamel into the bowl with the mashed cauliflower, saving some for later 16, and mix well. Season with nutmeg. Meanwhile, boil a pot of salted water and cook the pasta for 2-3 minutes less than the package directions 17. Drain the pasta into the bowl with the cauliflower cream 18 and mix.
Add the browned sausage, reserving a few pieces 19, and thyme leaves 20, then transfer everything into a baking dish 21.
Top with the remaining béchamel 22, reserved sausage 23, and sautéed cauliflower 24.
Finally, tear the smoked buffalo mozzarella by hand 25 and sprinkle with black pepper. Gratinate in a preheated 450°F (230°C) oven for about 15 minutes, placing the dish on the top rack 26. Your baked pasta with cauliflower and sausage is ready to be served hot 27!
How to store
Baked pasta with cauliflower and sausage can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
If you wish to prepare it in advance and cook it later, you can store it in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
You can freeze it after cooking.
If you prefer a "red" version, you can add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the béchamel sauce, along with the cauliflower cooking water.
You can replace the thyme with marjoram or rosemary; in the latter case, roughly chopped hazelnuts would also be a great addition!