No, not pasta, but close, Parmesan! Cauliflower Parmesan!
(Wait for it...)
Yes, you heard right, and why didn't I think of this sooner? Breaded cauliflower doused with tomato sauce, bechamel sauce and loads of parmesan baked to crispy perfection. I will bet the house that everyone will love this!
How can such a boast be made? Just seeing the look on my hubby's face when he spied the cauliflower florets awaiting their breading (it was of total horror) and then cut to him forking said florets transformed into magical goodness into his mouth. "I was skeptical, but this is amazing!" From the mouths of babes!
Cauliflower Parmesan (inspired by New York Times)
1 small head cauliflower, broken into bite size florets (cut large ones in half)
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce sauce
1 cup hard cheese grated (parmesan, asiago, pecorino romano)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set up your breading stations: a bowl for eggs and a bowl or plate for bread crumbs (seasoned with salt and pepper). Roll cauliflower in eggs and then cover with breadcrumbs and set on a baking sheet. Bake breaded cauliflower for 20 minutes until tender.
Warm tomato sauce over low flame. Make bechamel sauce by melting butter over a low flame, then whisk in flour. Allow butter flour mixture to cook until golden brown, stirring or whisking to keep from burning. Slowly add in milk, 1/4 cup at a time, whisking to incorporate until you have a thick but runny sauce. Turn off heat and set aside.
Spoon a small amount of tomato sauce in the bottom of a small glass baking pan, like a pie plate. Place 1 layer of cauliflower, spoon over half of tomato sauce, followed by half of bechamel sauce and half of cheese. Repeat the layer ending with cheese on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until top is melted and beginning to brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out hot. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.