Cauliflower and Rigatoni Gratin

RETURN OF THE RECIPE OF THE WEEK! Cauliflower is bright and beautiful this time of year and this recipe puts it front and center. I used fresh rigatoni from the Farmers' Market, but any short pasta will work.
By | February 20, 2015


Serves 4

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine milk, cream, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Add cauliflower, cover, and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. Remove half the cauliflower and set aside.
  4. Continue cooking remaining cauliflower, covered, until soft, about 8 additional minutes. Remove garlic from cream and discard.
  5. Working in batches, transfer cream-cauliflower mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. In a large bowl, toss pasta with cream-cauliflower mixture, reserved cauliflower, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Heat broiler. Divide pasta between 4 gratin dishes. Top each with cheese, thyme leaves, and sage. Broil until cheese is browned and bubbling, about 5 minutes.


  • 10 ounces fresh rigatoni
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped, about 4 cups
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, plus leaves for topping
  • ½ cup grated Gruyère
  • Fresh sage leaves for topping
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