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Rec: Baked Rigatoni with Cauliflower in a Spicy Pink Sauce from Fine Cooking Magazine Feb/March 2007

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Posted to Thread #5820 at 4:37 pm on Feb 19, 2007

We had this last night and really enjoyed it. I used Italian fontina and was generous with the cauliflower, but felt I left the flowerettes a bit large, next time will cut them a little smaller.

Baked Rigatoni with Cauliflower in a Spicy Pink Sauce

Serves 6 to 8

3 Tbs. olive oil

2 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes

1 lb. yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 3 medium)

1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 lb. rigatoni

1 lb. 1- to 1 1/2-inch cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)

10 oz. shredded Fontina (about 2 1/2 cups)

2 oz. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 3/4 cup)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Bring
a pot of well-salted water to boil in a large pot with a pasta insert.
Grease a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with 1 Tbs. olive oil.

Pour off 1 cup of juice from one of the cans of tomatoes and discard it. In
a blender or food processor, purée both cans of tomatoes with their
remaining juice and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil in a 6- to 8-qt. Dutch oven or
heavy-based pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, about 1
minute, add the onions and 1/4 tsp. of the salt and cook, stirring
occasionally, until nicely browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Push the onions to the
side of the Dutch oven with a wooden spoon and add the garlic. Cook until it
just starts to sizzle and becomes fragrant, about 10 seconds.

Add the puréed tomatoes and cream (be careful; it will splatter), plus the
remaining 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a
gentle simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that the
sauce thickens slightly. Add the parsley and the red pepper flakes, and cook
until the flavors are melded, about 5 minutes more. Taste for salt and
pepper and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, when the salted water comes to a boil, cook the rigatoni until
it's al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta by lifting out the insert
and leaving the water in the pot. Add the pasta to the sauce. Return the
water to a boil (with the pasta insert in the pot) and cook the cauliflower
until barely tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and add it to the sauce.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the shredded Fontina to the pasta mixture and toss well.
Transfer to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Top the pasta with
the remaining 1 cup Fontina and then the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake uncovered until the cheese is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let the
pasta rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Tony Rosenfeld, Fine Cooking Feb/Mar 2007


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