FRESH Ideas: Roasted Cauliflower Penne Pasta

FRESH Ideas for 2013 Food Trends

Cauliflower may not be an unusual or unfamiliar ingredient but it has been named by several food marketers and publications as the breakout vegetable of the year.

It will be seen more often on restaurant menus and cooked in many ways we might never have imagined for this fair floret. Enjoy it mashed, roasted, fried, made into cakes, pasta sauces or sliced in a cross section and grilled like a steak.

In this recipe the cauliflower is roasted in the oven with plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper, along with sliced garlic and onions. Boil some pasta and then add the roasted cauliflower and all of the pan drippings for a quick and easy pasta dish that is healthy and full of flavor.

The only ingredients in your sauce are what are on the pan when the cauliflower comes out of the oven. Add some toasted breadcrumbs, parsley and parmesan cheese and your ready to serve.

Roasted Cauliflower Penne Pasta


Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 head cauliflower, cored and broken into small florets or 1 bag frozen, thawed & dried
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 slices white bread
12 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss cauliflower, onion, and garlic with 3 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until lightly browned and tender, 20 minutes, tossing once. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine bread and remaining 2 tablespoons oil; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Heat a dry sauté pan over medium heat. Add the crumbs, turn off heat and stir until toasted. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain off all but 1/2 cup of pasta water and return the pasta and the 1/2 cup water to the pot. Add cauliflower mixture, Parmesan, parsley and toasted bread crumbs. Toss to combine.


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