Cauliflower and pasta is baked in a spicy tomato-cream sauce in this comforting recipe adapted from Johanne Killeen and George Germon's Cucina Simpatica (Harper Collins, 1991) by Tim Mazurek for his column Cucina Simpatica.
- 3 cups chopped canned tomatoes in heavy puree
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely shredded Fontina
- 2 tbsp. ricotta
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 medium cauliflower, coarsely chopped
- 1 lb. imported conchiglie rigate or penne rigate
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 500°F and bring 5 quarts of salted water to boil in a stockpot.
In a mixing bowl combine the tomatoes, cream, cheeses, peppers, and salt. Drop the cauliflower and pasta into the boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain, add them to the mixing bowl, and toss to combine.
Transfer the mixture to 6 to 8 individual, shallow, 1 1⁄2-2-cup ceramic baking dishes. Top with a portion of butter and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until bubbly and brown on top.