Roasted Cauliflower and Spicy Oil With Pasta

I love to eat seasonally and fall is cauliflower season. A large fresh head was bought at Valley Farm Market and I ate nearly quarter of it raw, dipped in homemade green goddess dressing, tasty. Eventually I felt a pasta dish might be great comfort food to use the rest of the head for. I was right! This is definitely a winner.  Roasted cauliflower was my starting place but something without too much sauce. This version has olive oil scented with garlic and red pepper flakes. It is topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Delicious.

I used gf penne from Aldi’s but you could use any pasta type or shape you want. I also roasted half an onion for more flavor. Up to you. More red pepper; sure. Less garlic…sure.  If you hate onions; leave that out.  I used walnuts as I had no pine nuts. I toasted them for more flavor. They worked fine. I think this would be nice accompanied by a butternut squash soup. Great fall meal.

Pasta and veggies in the pan before cheese gets grated on top.

Roasted Cauliflower and Spicy Oil Over Penne

3-4 servings

Ingredients:

CAULIFLOWER ROAST

1 small head cauliflower; about 4 cups of large flowerets.

½ a large onion cut top to bottom into thin wedges

1 large garlic clove minced

1-2 Tbsp EVOL

Scant ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

¼ tsp. sea salt

PASTA

1 1/3 cup penne

3 Tbsp EVOL

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 large garlic clove smashed

3 Tbsp coarsely chopped walnuts

 1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

¼ C freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Turn oven up to 450 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into med flowerets; don’t be afraid to cut across the middle of a big clump.  Place on large sheet pan with the onion slices. Drizzle EVOL over them, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt and squeeze garlic clove over. Roast 15 minutes, turn over cauliflower and onion and roast 10 more minutes; if browning too much turn oven off and let it coast the last few minutes.

Heat 2 quarts of water in a big pot; salt well. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain; save 2-3 Tbsp of pasta water.

While that cooks, heat 3 Tbsp EVOL in mini wok or fry pan. Add smashed garlic; cook 2-3 minutes; do not brown too deeply. Take out and let cool. Dump in red pepper flakes and cook a minute. Brown the walnut bits in a dry frying pan. Add the cauliflower, pasta, walnuts, fried garlic which you chopped fine and the parsley. Stir well; add the 2 Tbsp water if you want more liquid. Top with parmesan cheese. You can add more red pepper flakes and parsley if desired. Enjoy!

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