I have recently added Fine Cooking magazine to my monthly magazine recipe research for my clients. I have been pleasantly surprised at range and use of ingredients throughout their recipes - case in point - Peppery Egg Noodle, Farmer's Cheese & Cauliflower Gratin.
Old school, French style casseroles are the best...but I do not do the Americanized, just add creme of mushroom soup casseroles. At least that is what I tell people when they call my service looking for the stuff your freezer full of casseroles style personal chefs.
But this recipe is a case in point (thought I did doctor it up a little), that sometimes there is nothing better than a creme and buttery crusted - so perfect for fall - goodness.
- 12 oz. farmer's cheese (I couldn't find any - so I just substituted cottage)
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- 3 Tablespoons of butter
- 1/4 cup homemade breadcrumbs (I added some picked thyme and chopped sage)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- kosher salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 small head of cauliflower (1 & 3/4 - 2 lbs.), trimmed and cut into 1 inch long florets
- 1 cup homemade or low-salt chicken or veggie broth
- 9 oz. fresh egg pasta
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add enough salt to make it taste like 'sea water'.
- Butter a casserole dish about 9x13.
- Pulse in food processor farmers cheese and cream.(I added 3 Tablespoons of picked thyme and 2 Tablespoons of chopped sage to this.)
- Saute breadcrumbs with thyme and butter until golden brown.
- Separately saute in butter the cauliflower until slightly brown and translucent. (I added White Wine here, about a cup or so - educing completely before removing the cauliflower from the heat.)
- Cut fetticine with kitchen shears into 3-4 inch pieces.
- Drop fetticine in boiling water, removing after just 1 minute.
- Combine cream - cheese mixture, fetticine and cauliflower, until fully combined.
- Spread into casserole dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over and grind some extra pepper on top.
- Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.