Cauliflower, Pasta, and Cheese Gratin


8 c. water                                                      

1 c. (4 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar

6 c. cauliflower florets (1 lbs.)               

c. (2 ox.) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

3/4 tsp. salt, divided                                    

c. finely chopped green onions

8 oz. uncooked small seashell pasta      

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

c. all-purpose flour                                 

tsp. black pepper

3 c. low-fat milk                                           

2 slices white bread

2 tsp. chopped fresh or tsp. dried thyme

2 tsp. butter, melted

3 garlic cloves, crushed




Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan; add cauliflower and tsp. salt to boiling water, and cook 4 min. or until tender.  Remove cauliflower with a slotted spoon, reserving cooking liquid; set cauliflower aside.  Bring cooking liquid to a rolling boil.  Add pasta, and cook 7 min. or until al dente; drain and set aside. 


Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife.  Combine flour and milk in a saucepan, stirring well with a whisk.  Stir in thyme and garlic and cook over medium heat until thick (about 8 min.), stirring constantly.  Remove from feat; stir in tsp. salt, cheeses, onions, mustard, and pepper.  Combine until coarse crumbs from to measure 1 cup.  Combine bread crumbs with butter; sprinkle evenly over cauliflower mixture.  Bake at 400F for 20 min. or until lightly browned.  Yield:  6 servings.