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CHEESY ROASTED CAULIFLOWER & BACON BAKED SHELLS

Ingredients

1 Head Cauliflower
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
6 Strips Thick Cut Bacon, Diced
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/3 Cup Al-purpose Flour
4 Cups Partly Skimmed Milk
2 Cups Grated Melting Cheese Such As Gruyere, Fontina, Or Asiago
1 Cup Grated Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper
400 Grams Pasta Shells or Macaroni
3 – 4 cloves Barbismoked™ Smoked Paprika Seasoned Smoked Garlic – crushed
TOPPING:
1 1/2 Cups Coarse Breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup Grated Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese
2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Parsley
1/4 Cup Chopped Hazelnuts
Salt & Pepper
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil


Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets, and toss with olive oil.
Spread the cauliflower onto the baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
Roast the cauliflower until lightly browned and fork tender, stirring every so often as it cooks, about 20 minutes.
Cook the bacon in a frying pan until lightly browned and and beginning to crisp then stir in the garlic about 8 minutes.
Set aside.
Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until melted and bubbly.
Whisk in the flour and cook a minute or two.
Slowly pour in the milk, whisking continually until smooth.
Cook the sauce over medium heat, whisking often, until the sauce begins to thicken.
Stir in both the cheeses, mustard, salt and pepper and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Continue to cook, whisking often until the cheese has melted and the sauce is thick.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
While the sauce is cooking, heat a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Cook the pasta half the recommended time, then drain.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Toss the pasta with the sauce, cauliflower, and bacon bits and then spoon into a lightly buttered oven-proof casserole dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients, then spoon the topping over the pasta.
Bake the pasta 20 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned, covering with foil if the crumbs become too brown.
Serve hot and enjoy!


Acknowledgements

Based on a recipe featured on italianfoodforever.com