Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cheesy Baked Penne with Crème Fraiche and Cauliflower


Cheesy Baked Penne with Crème fraiche and Cauliflower with a Wild Mushroom Salad

Pasta enveloped in a creamy sauce of aged Gruyere and Fontina (which melts up exceedingly well) and a kick of crème fraiche to make it extra creamy with a bit of acidity with seasonal cauliflower. I can’t claim this recipe to be mine. But you can get it by clicking here from Bon Appetit. Here are a few of my recommendations: I would roast the cauliflower to develop a full-bodied flavor instead of simply par boiled. Make sure to use Gruyere reserve, this mean the Gruyere has been aged which gives it a sharper and in my opinion better flavor to the dish.
I made homemade breadcrumbs, which is so easy and a great way to use up old bread. Simply dry it up in the oven and place in the food processor. (So much better than store bought.) But I won’t blame you for reaching for the can.

The wild mushroom salad with its earthy complexity makes a perfect complement to any ultra cheesy dish. I love to use a mixture of mushrooms: chanterelles, morels, shitakes and browns. I like to sauté them with a little white wine to boost the flavor factor. I let them cool and prepare the salad. I do a classic vinaigrette with shallots, Dijon mustard, olive oil and red wine vinegar. I toss with fresh lettuce from the farmer’s market and enjoy this sophisticated macaroni and cheese.

10 comments:

Heather said...

yum! looks tasty!!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Yum, starting with the word "cheesy" is a sure way to catch my attention.

MrOrph said...

I like the roasted cauliflower especially. Two great cheese choices too!

sara said...

Oh my goodness this penne looks great! It is just what I was craving, though I didn't know it until just now. I am definitely going to pick up the ingredients and make it tomorrow! Perfect for fall weather.

And I agree, the roasting of the cauliflower is just the way to do it!

Thanks!

Vera said...

What a fabulous meal, Abby!

claudia said...

see? this is my kinda mac and cheese. and the mushrooms - wonderful. i use a lot of white dry vermouth in my cooking instead of the white wine. julia child taught me that... especially since i am mostly a red wine drinker and an open bottle of vermouth lasts and lasts.

Manger La Ville said...

Claudia: That is a really good idea about Vermouth- I am going to try it.

Sabina said...

mmmm... that looks like something Mamé would make... so homey and warm and delicious!

Lori Lynn said...

Those are some good tips tucked into your post.

The salad and this pasta dish sound like a winner together.

Kevin said...

That sounds tasty!