Orzo, Bacon and Greens with Cauliflower Cheese Sauce
For the Cauliflower Sauce
- 3 cups cauliflower flourets
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
For the Pasta
- 1 cup dry orzo pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 thick slices bacon, chopped
- 1 cup diced collard greens
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 1/3 cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese, divided
In a large pot, add cauliflower florets and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook till fork tender. Once tender, scoop out cauliflower and add to vessel of a high-powered blender.
Add 1/2 cup of the stock you cooked your cauliflower in, salt, pepper, garlic, half and half, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Purée on high until smooth. If the sauce seems too thick, simply add a little more stock or half and half. Set the sauce aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick spray.
Fill a medium-sized pot with water and place over high heat. Once the water is boiling add in the pasta and cook until al dente, following box directions. Once cooked, drain, drizzle with a little olive oil and dump back into the pot it was cooking in. Let rest while you prepare the rest of the filling.
In a medium skillet add bacon and cook till crisp, drain on a paper towel.
Leave 2 to 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pan, if there is not enough, supplement with olive oil. Add collard greens and onions. Sauté quickly until onion is translucent and the greens are softened. Remove from the heat.
In the pot of your pasta add collard green mixture, bacon, 1 cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese and 1 cup of the cauliflower sauce and stir together. Add more sauce to reach desired texture.
Add mixture to your prepared dish and top with remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top of the mixture is browned.
*These values are approximate. Per serving, based on a 2,000 Calorie diet.