No Thanks
Let
Keep In Touch With MarthaStewart.com

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Baked Shells and Broccoli with Ham and Cheesy-Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Adding toasted whole-wheat breadcrumbs gives this dish a nice crunch that balances out the creaminess of the sauce. Rather than baking the shells with the crumbs on top (which can make them soggy), toast the breadcrumbs separately, and toss a handful over each serving right before you put it on the table.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Baked Shells and Broccoli with Ham and Cheesy-Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Photography: Chris Testani

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2012

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cored and chopped (3 cups)
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 medium shallots, roughly chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 ounces pecorino cheese, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 pound medium multigrain pasta shells
  • 1/4 pound sliced smoked ham, chopped
  • 1 medium bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup toasted whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cauliflower, garlic, shallots, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until softened but not brown, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with flour; stir to coat well.

  2. Gradually stir in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; gently simmer until cauliflower is very soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer all to a blender, and puree with nutmeg and half the pecorino until smooth, about 2 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until slightly tender but not fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Drain well; return to pot. Add ham, broccoli, and cauliflower sauce; toss to combine. Transfer to a ovenproof 3 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining pecorino, and bake until bubbling in center, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler, and broil until golden brown on top, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Divide among dishes, top with breadcrumbs, and serve immediately.

Cook's Note

The robust flavors of pecorino and smoked ham allow you to use less without sacrificing taste.

Reviews (1)

  • Maddyd51 18 Sep, 2012

    Loved it but the broccoli was undercooked. Next time I'd steam them for a few minutes before adding them to the pasta or maybe cook them for a few minutes in the boiling pasta water.

Related Topics