This is a very special day for me. Not only is this my 100th post (who knew I’d have one hundred things to talk about?) but today also marks the one-year anniversary of the aesthete and the dilettante. To celebrate the occasion, I have created a sinful recipe using some of my favorite ingredients. Sweet, caramelized cauliflower, applewood smoked bacon, and lots of garlic come together with creamy fontina and nutty, earthy gruyere in a dish totally worth the splurge. And one more very important thing. Thank you for reading. It brings me great pleasure to share my discoveries with you.
Fusilli with Bacon, Gruyere, and Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 and 1/2 heads cauliflower, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch florets
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced into thin lengthwise pieces
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 ounces (3-4 slices) bacon, chopped into pieces or thin strips (Nueske’s applewood smoked is THE best if you can find it)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 12 ounces fusilli pasta
- 8 ounces (1/2 lb) fontina cheese, grated
- 8 ounces (1/2 lb) aged gruyere cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Place the cauliflower florets and sliced yellow onion on a baking sheet, drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt (about 1 teaspoon) and freshly ground pepper. Stir to coat and place in preheated oven. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, for 35 minutes or until caramelized and tender. Remove from oven.
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente (stopping a minute or two before package directions). Reserve 1 cup of hot pasta water before draining.
- While cauliflower is roasting in the oven, saute the bacon pieces in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat for 6 or 7 minutes or until crisp.
- Add the 4 cloves minced garlic to bacon and saute 1 more minute.
- Turn heat to medium-low and whisk the flour into the bacon and garlic and stir for two minutes.
- Gradually whisk in the cream and milk, stirring occasionally until sauce is thick, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the shredded fontina and gruyere, stirring until melted.
- Slowly whisk in the reserved pasta water until sauce is perfectly creamy (I used 1/2 cup, but you may need more).
- Season to taste with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.
- Stir in roasted cauliflower and onions and the hot, drained pasta.
- Serve in warm bowls with a good sprinkle of parsley and any crispy onion pieces left on the baking sheet.
recipe and photos via the aesthete and the dilettante