A creamy cauliflower pasta bake — what's not to love? This is the best way to use up any leftover Thanksgiving turkey!
Technique tip: If you don't have a blender, use a food processor to make this creamy cauliflower sauce. Also, it freezes really well if you want to double the sauce for a later date.
Swap option: If you're skipping the turkey this year, this works just as well with chicken.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 large cloves garlic, minced
- 5 to 6 cups cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup milk
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces short pasta, any shape will work
- 1-2 cups shredded, cooked turkey breasts
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 to 2 cups shredded fontina cheese
- fried sage, to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Brown the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once it starts to get lightly brown, add the red pepper flakes and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant and the butter is browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook for 8 minutes, until fork-tender. Once tender, use a slotted spoon and transfer the cauliflower to a blender. Add 1/2 cup of the cooking water and the red pepper-garlic-brown butter mixture. Blend until smooth. If it's still thick, stream in a few tablespoons of milk at a time until smooth and thin. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and transfer back into the pot. Add the cauliflower sauce and shredded turkey, and toss to combine. Season with salt, pepper and Parmesan and transfer to a 9- by 9-inch baking dish. Top with the shredded fontina, transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is golden and melted. Remove and top with fried sage to serve.