Heavenly pasta dish that is a perfect combination of “comfort food” and “loaded with veggies.” This Fettuccine is loaded with roasted cauliflower, leeks, and mushrooms, then tossed in creamy garlic cheese sauce.
I love a good Chopped challenge! Do you ever play Chopped in your kitchen? I do it all the time. Sometimes it’s because of a necessity, when I open the fridge and realize that I haven’t gone shopping in a while, so I’m forced to get creative. Sometimes, I just feel like having some fun and pick some random ingredient to get creative with.
This week, I was challenged to participate in an actual Chopped at Home challenge, not just a fun one I play by myself. This challenge in presented by the Food Network and Sargento cheese. This was SO much fun because I watch Chopped all the time (even as I’m writing this post), and I felt like a contestant. Even though this is just about the easiest basket I’ve ever seen on the show and all the real contestants can kick my tush in the kitchen, I still felt like a part of it.
So, this is Round 1 of the challenge and the theme is “comfort food.” Ingredients in the basket include Sargento® Fine Cut Sharp Cheddar cheese, cauliflower, leeks, and cremini mushrooms.
The best part is, YOU can participate! Just take these ingredients, and you have to use all of them, create your own comfort dish, take a picture, and submit it here. If you submit your recipe to this Chopped challenge, you will have a chance to win $5,000 and a trip to New York City to compete in a televised Chopped cooking challenge for a $10,000 grand prize.
I must have gone through a hundred ideas in my head about what to make. I thought about it so much, my head was exploding. The very first idea that popped in my head was to make a potato soup with cauliflower and leeks, but mushrooms just didn’t seem to fit there.
Then, I thought about a pizza, a tart, pasta carbonara, cauliflower gratin, cauliflower casserole….and many many more. I was even jotting down ideas at stoplights going to and from the store.
First of all, I really wanted to roast my veggies first. The flavor addition from roasting them first is incredible and the smell in my house was intoxicating. Second, I wanted to make the sauce for Fettuccine simple enough to compensate for the extra step of roasting veggies but delicious enough so it could stand on it’s own.
Nothing beats a simple cheese sauce with a touch of slightly seared garlic and shallots. It was a winning dish at my house! Even my anti-veggie husband ate every bite of this cheesy, veggie loaded pasta.
Roasted Cauliflower Leek and Mushroom Fettuccine in Garlic Cheese Sauce
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 0.5 lb cremini mushrooms
- 1 lb leeks
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 lb Fettuccine dry
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 cups grated Sharp Cheddar cheese
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 large shallot
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cut out the heart of cauliflower and divide the cauliflower into florets. Toss it in a large bowl with some olive oil, salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Spread in one layer on a baking sheet. (You can use the same baking sheet for leeks as well. Mushrooms take a little bit less time, so use another baking sheet.)
- Cut off the dark green leaves of the leeks and the very bottom by the roots, discard what you cut off or save it for making homemade vegetable stock. Wash the leeks and cut them length-wise in quarters. Rub leeks with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay out the leek quarters on the baking sheet next to the cauliflower.
- Wash and cut cremini mushrooms in half. Toss them in a bowl with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a separate baking sheet.
- Roast cauliflower and leeks for 25-30 minutes. Mushrooms will need about 15-20 minutes. (Place the pan with mushrooms in the oven after cauliflower and leeks have been roasting for 10 minutes.)
- While veggies are roasting, cook Fettuccine in a large pot, drain and set aside.
- Use the same pot to make sauce. Preheat the pot over medium heat, add olive oil.
- Thinly slice shallots and add them to the pot. Let shallots get to light golden color.
- While shallots are cooking, thinly slice garlic cloves. Add garlic to the pot once shallots are lightly golden. Cook both until golden brown.
- Whisk in vegetable broth and then slowly whisk in heavy cream. Let the mixture heat through.
- Add cheese, salt and pepper and keep stirring until all melted.
- Add fettuccine to the pot and mix. Add roasted veggies to the pot and mix well.
- Serve right away.
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