Cauliflower Pasta: Yum!
You will love the robust flavor of cauliflower. The roasting intensifies the flavors even further. I use frozen cauliflower, as it is already cut, cleaned, and every bit as delicious and nutritious as fresh! The whole dish comes together funky and intensely flavored. I am a huge fan of frozen vegetables and fruits.
At first the inclusion of bread crumbs in a pasta dish will seem redundant to you. But you will be amazed at the wonderful crunch the bread crumbs add as a result of roasting. And if you use quality whole grain bread, including GF, you just can’t go wrong: you only add more nutrition! Don’t hesitate to use them as a garnish, both in this cauliflower pasta and in other pasta dishes.
Gluten-Free Cauliflower Pasta?
Sure thing. This is for you too! I use GF pasta all the time. Mind you, not because of any gluten intolerance, but because I found a brand of GF pasta that is, nutritionally, infinitely superior to regular wheat pasta: Delicious. Much higher in protein (24g protein in a 2 oz serving) Much higher in fiber. Lower in carbs. You just can’t miss!
This is my all-time favorite brand. There’s nothing you would do with regular wheat pasta that you casent do with this pasta.
Jazz it up!
It will easily grow to main course status, with just a few tweaks, from vegan to cheesy to fishy to meaty, using the exact same recipe: that’s how elastic it is!
Although this cauliflower pasta dish needs no help from the usual pasta suspects to be fantastic, feel free to add one of the following:
Just some examples. In case you throw in any of the following additions, make absolutely sure to include no salt in your recipes, as one of these additions will be amply enough to salt the whole dish.
- Minced anchovies or sardines
- Fresh grated parmesan or other strong cheese
- Lamb bacon or diced smoked turkey
- Toasted pine or other nuts.
- 2 pounds frozen cauliflower florets, larger pieces cut smaller
- 6 slices bread, any kind including GF
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic
- ½ cup basil leaves, packed
- 1 bunch flat parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 good pinches nutmeg
- 1 pound pasta, boiled and drained (rice noodles or other GF pasta OK), 1/2 cup cooking liquid reserved
- ¼ cup more olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 450 *F.
Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment and spray with vegetable spray. Spread the cauliflower florets in one layer on the cookie sheet, and spray again generously with vegetable spray. Push them without piling to one side of the cookie sheet.
In a food processor, using the pulse button, process the bread, olive oil, garlic, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg, until you get coarse crumbs. Place them on the other side of the cookie sheet. (If you cookie sheet is too small, just use two cookie sheet to ensure you don’t pile)
Bake about 25 minutes, check a couple times: The crumbs might be ready first. In this case take them out first and let the cauliflower roast a few minutes longer: it should be nice and dark.
In a platter, toss the pasta with the cauliflower, the reserved liquid, the crumb mixture, the added oil and the lemon zest, plus any of the suggested additions, if using.
Garnish with chopped basil and parsley
Serve hot. Delicious at room temperature too.