Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pasta with Cauliflower

Whew!  That was a long break from blogging!  Well, there are lots of excuses, but let's just move on to celebrating the produce of my new home state, California!

My husband has tried for years to get me to move here with promises of great weather, but he really should have spent more time talk to the produce.  There's a great farmer's market at my hospital, and last week, I couldn't pass up a purple cauliflower!  It was so pretty!

I found a simple recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Simply Recipes.  I made some changes to suit my husband's tastes, mostly substituting capers for anchovies and adding some toasted almonds.  With recipes like this, we're definitely making some headway in eating more vegetables and less meat, which was one of my new year's resolutions.

Pasta with Cauliflower
adapted from Simply Recipes

1 onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp capers Olive oil
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 large head of cauliflower, core removed and discarded, florets coarsely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 pound shaped pasta (e.g. elbow, gemelli, corkscrew, bowtie)
2 cups fresh or canned tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tbsp unsalted butter

  1. Put a large pot of salted water for the pasta on the stove to boil.   Cook the pasta, uncovered, in salted boiling water until 2 minutes less than the pasta package's cooking directions.  Drain the pasta from the cooking water and reserve.
  2. Heat 2 tbsps olive oil in the skillet on medium low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and capers.  Cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Remove from heat. 
  3. Add the cauliflower, stir infrequently, allowing the cauliflower edges to brown. Cook until the cauliflower florets are lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Dissolve tomato paste in 1/2 cup of water. Lower the heat to low. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and capers, stir to combine well. Cook, uncovered, on low heat, until the cauliflower is tender.  
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the cauliflower mixture. Stir in about half of the parsley, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan, almonds, and butter.