This pasta dish is like a combination of macaroni and cheese and a cauliflower gratin- the whole wheat pasta adds a lovely nuttiness, and makes it just a bit healthier to balance out the cream and the cheese and the bacon!
2 cups very small cauliflower florets
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces diced bacon
3/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
11/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground black pepper
Steam the cauliflower over boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Put a large pot of water on to boil over high heat.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the bacon, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, but not too crispy, 12-15 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
Meanwhile, add the spaghetti to the boiling water, and cook until al dente, about ten minutes.
Heat the butter in the Dutch oven still over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add the white wine, raising the heat to medium high and whisking for 2 minutes. Add the cream, and cheeses, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add the reserved cauliflower and bacon, the peas, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the spaghetti, and add to the sauce, tossing gently to blend all of the ingredients. Serve immediately with additional grated Romano cheese