- 1/2 lb. penne, cooked al dente + 1 scant cup of its water, reserved from boiling
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 2 large leeks, trimmed, chopped into 1/4″ half moons
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2-3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1/2 cup mascarpone
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- squeeze fresh lemon juice
- pinch red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs (optional)
- chopped parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta.
In a medium-sized bowl, drizzle cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste and toss gently. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, until tender and golden brown.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan, add leeks, thyme, more red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste and saute until softened. Simmer leeks with stock and white wine for an additional ten minutes, or until reduced by half. Add chopped mushrooms and continue to cook until browned, about two minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente and drain it, reserving a scant cup of its water to be re-added later.
Stir cooked pasta into mushroom-leek mixture, reducing heat to medium-low and adding mascarpone, reserved pasta water, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Stir in roasted cauliflower. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and chopped parsley if desired. Serve hot.