Wednesday, November 28, 2012

roasted cauliflower pasta

i love cookbooks.
good ones inspire you with
intricate recipes and beautiful pictures...
and pretty soon you're imagining all the amazing things 
that could come out of your kitchen!

i got two new cookbooks for my bday. lucky me :)

i don't know about you, but when i make pasta dishes, 
i like more 'stuff' and less pasta.
for that reason, i actually thought you could have either 
INCREASED the ratio of 'stuff' to pasta, 
or just lowered the amount of pasta in this dish. 
but that's just me :)

overall - loved the flavors. 
the caramelized cauliflower, sweetness of the nutmeg and hazelnut, 
with the freshness of the basil. YUM. 

i couldn't resist - i also ended up adding red pepper flakes 
at the last minute to give it some kick :)

1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 pound whole grain pasta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
handful of fresh basil leaves, cut into slivers
*i would have doubled this, but i LOVE basil*
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
shaved pecorino for garnish (optional)


1. preheat oven to 425 degrees.
bring large pot of salted water to a boil for your noodles.
cook pasta according to the package instructions.

2. meanwhile, cut the cauliflowers into 1-inch florets, 
discarding the thick middle stem.
spread florets on a rimmed baking sheet and toss 
with olive oil, making sure each piece is coated. 
sprinkle with lemon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg & toss.
roast, gently stirring about halfway through the cooking time, 
until there are lots of caramelized spots, 25-30 minutes.

3. meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium heat, 
warm the butter and swirl it around the pan until it 
starts to bubble and just begins to smell toasty - about 2 minutes. 
turn off heat.

**i felt like the 3 tablespoons of butter was a bit much, 
so i dumped about 2 tablespoons prior to adding the rest of the ingredients**

4. drain pasta, reserving a bit of the water. 
to the pan with the browned butter, add the pasta, a splash of pasta water, 
balsamic vinegar, basil, half of both the cauliflower and hazelnuts, 
and a pinch or two of salt. toss everything to combine.

*i would double the basil next time*

5. divide the pasta mixture into bowls and top each serving 
with a portion of the remaining cauliflower and hazelnuts, 
as well as a few grinds of pepper. 
garnish with cheese if your heart desires.

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