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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

 I love cauliflower, so I grabbed a head of it at the grocery store without an exact plan.  I have my usual favorite cauliflower dish -  this Indian spiced cauliflower.  Yet I also enjoy just roasting it up with some salt and nutmeg as a side dish to just about anything.  If you've never tried roasting cauliflower because you do not like cauliflower, I recommend that you try it.  Roasting it brings out its sweetness as opposed to that funky cruciferous taste it can sometimes have.  You might be surprised that you actually like cauliflower.  So that was my vague plan...roasted cauliflower.  I decided to do just that, but instead of making it as a side dish, I added it to some penne pasta along with some crispy shallots, roasted garlic, and romano cheese.  I just created my new favorite pasta dish.

Roasted Cauliflower Pasta
serves 6

1 14 oz. box whole grain penne
1 head of garlic, the very top cut off so that the cloves are exposed
1 head of cauliflower, cut up into florets
3 Tbsp olive oil plus a bit more for roasting the garlic
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated romano cheese
salt and pepper
1/2 cup reserved pasta water


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Put the garlic on a piece of tin foil and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Wrap it in the foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour.  Halfway into the garlic's cooking time, put the cauliflower on a parchment lined baking sheet and combine with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and some salt to your taste.  Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.  While the cauliflower and garlic roast, put your water on the stove to boil for the pasta.  Cook your pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.  Heat 1 Tbsp of butter and the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until they are a golden brown - about 8 minutes.  After your pasta is drained, return it to the pot.  Add the sauteed shallots, and roasted cauliflower.  Remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins (I like to use a fork or knife, but you can also squeeze them out.)  Add the garlic cloves to the pasta along with the romano cheese.  Combine everything together and add the pasta water until it has a desirable consistency.  Serve with some extra romano cheese and enjoy!

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