Rachael Ray Just Revealed the First Recipe She Ever Cooked for Her Mom—and It Contains a Whole Head of Cauliflower
Food Network star, cookbook author, philanthropist and design ace Rachael Ray has been taking some happy strolls down memory lane during season 16 of the Rachael Ray Show. Last month, she recreated her very first 30-Minute Meal 21 years later. And earlier this week, Ray gave us a flashback to her family dinner table when she was a kiddo.
"This is a riff on the first meal I made by myself in the kitchen for my mom. I was around 11 or 12. I made lasagna roll-ups with gorgonzola, ricotta and béchamel sauce. I didn't know much about wine pairings, so I served it with a mimosa! OMG," Ray laughs. "Don't do that."
But do make this dish—Three-Cheese Rolled Lasagna with Roasted Parm Cauliflower Florets—which looks like a dreamy Sunday dinner idea. The cheese and pasta offer plenty of satisfaction and full-fledged comfort food vibes, while the toppings offer a one-two punch of nutrition: heart-healthy pistachios and a whole head of cauliflower. (Did you know a medium head of cauliflower delivers 12 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein, plus loads of vitamin C and potassium?)
"We're going to roast the cauliflower at a very high temperature. It will be tender-crisp but brown on the outside. Then we'll put that off to the side to top the rolled pasta," Ray explains as she road maps the recipe at the beginning of the segment.
In a large bowl, "I have small florets here, and we're going to dress this with good olive oil, salt and pepper, dried sage or thyme, either one. And if you like, add a little sprinkle of granulated garlic," Ray says.
Using tongs or clean hands, toss that all together until the cauliflower is evenly coated in the oil and seasoning mix, then scatter it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top with a generous handful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and roast at 450 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
As the vegetables roast, cook the lasagna sheets in boiling water for several minutes less than directed on the package. "As soon as they're pliable, we're good, because this is going to go back into a hot oven to bake," Ray adds.
Drain the pasta and arrange the noodles on clean kitchen towels so they don't stick together.
Next up, in a saucepan over medium heat, add flour and cook for 1 minute, then whisk in milk and allow it to thicken. Season the béchamel sauce with salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste.
And in one final bowl, combine ricotta, mild Gorgonzola, more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, an egg, a clove of grated garlic and a handful of fresh parsley. Use a spatula to evenly mix that all together.
Coat the bottom of a medium casserole dish with a scoop of the nutmeg-spiced béchamel sauce to act as the foundation. Then, atop each pasta sheet, add a few spoonfuls of the ricotta-Gorgonzola filling before rolling into a spiral. Transfer the filled rolls to the dish, seam-side down, and top with the remaining béchamel and a final dose of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until browned and bubbly.
Post oven shift, top the whole casserole with pistachios "for texture," Ray says, along with those caramelized roasted cauliflower florets and fresh parsley.
Pair with a crisp Italian white wine (you can save the mimosas for brunch!) and a big healthy green salad, and you'll have a cozy, well-rounded dinner menu that would make any mom proud.
Get Ray's Three-Cheese Rolled Lasagna with Roasted Parm Cauliflower Florets recipe here, and keep the cauli-fueled fun going with our Cheesy French Onion Cauliflower, Roasted Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Parsley-Chive Swirl, Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos and Roasted Chickpea Curry Bowl.