Pasta With Roasted Cauliflower and Blue Cheese
When creamy Gorgonzola dolce hits a pot full of hot pasta, it melts into a rich and complex sauce without your having to do much more than stir. Here, the pasta and sauce are tossed with roasted cauliflower and caramelized, browned leeks. It’s comfort food, but with a blue-cheese bite.
- Serves: 3 persons
- 1head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch florets
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
- 1teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1large or 2 small leeks, halved and thinly sliced
- 2cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1tablespoon thyme leaves, more for serving
- 8ounces short pasta such as campanelle, orecchiette, conchiglie, farfalle or fusilli
- 3tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 6ounces Gorgonzola dolce, crumbled, at room temperature
- Fresh lemon juice, to taste
- 2tablespoons chopped chives, for serving
Step 1Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer, and bake for 20 minutes.
Step 2Add leeks, garlic and thyme to the cauliflower on the sheet pan, then roast another 20 minutes, tossing the vegetables halfway through, until they are very tender and deeply caramelized.
Step 3Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until it is 1 minute shy of being al dente. (It will continue to cook in the residual heat of the pot.) Scoop out about 1 cup pasta water (a coffee mug is good for this), then drain pasta. Return the pasta to the empty pot, along with butter, Gorgonzola, remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 cup pasta water, stirring to melt cheese.
Step 4Toss roasted vegetables into pasta, then stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add more pasta water if mixture looks dry. To serve, spoon into bowls and top with chives and sprinkle of thyme leaves.