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Holiday Cauliflower and Linguine

No recipe image available.This festive dish requires extra effort in preparation, but the end result in both presentation and taste is well worth the work.

Recipe Ingredients:

3 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
9 ounces fresh spinach linguine
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups half-and-half
Non-stick cooking spray
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
Grated nutmeg, to taste

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cook cauliflower in enough water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender crisp; drain.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Immediately toss with the cooking oil.
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic and cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in the flour, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cream all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir in the cauliflower until well coated with sauce.
  6. Coat a 2 1/2-quart baking dish or shallow casserole with cooking spray.
  7. Toss the pasta with 4 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Slowly twirl a portion of pasta onto a long-tined fork using hands as a guide to help form a nest. Push pasta off fork into the baking dish.
  8. Repeat with the remaining pasta, forming a circle of nests around outer rim of dish. Spoon cauliflower mixture into center of pasta ring.
  9. Sprinkle parsley, crumbled bacon and the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top of cauliflower mixture.
  10. Cover and bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Recipe provided courtesy of www.butterball.com.