February 27, 2019

Cauliflower Pasta

Cauliflower is what will be the star of our meal today. Did you know that cauliflower is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals needed in your diet? It also is loaded with high amounts of fiber and contains a significant amount of antioxidants.  Perfect for many flavorful dishes and a great substitute to legumes and grains in many dishes. 
There are so many ways to prepare this beautiful head of white florets.  Always a very pleasant surprise to the palate.  Roasted in the oven and married with pasta it will become a mouthwatering and satisfying primo. Quick and easy in preparation, and sure to satisfy a hungry crowd.
I always have to remember that cooking for my family and friends must not be a complicated task or something to be dreaded. It must be instead a joy to get in the kitchen and prepare and serve genuine, uncomplicated food with fresh, seasonal ingredients. It is an awesome privilege to get to sit around the table sharing the gift of food and doing life together with those whom you love.
So today, from the refrigerator we pulled out some cauliflower florets that were leftover from the awesome cauliflower steaks we made the other day. Let's get to work.

Recipe:

Supplies:

  • wood-fired oven
  • infrared thermometer
  • baking pan

Ingredients:

  • cauliflower florets from half of a cauliflower
  • 500 grams Penne pasta
  • 6-7 halves of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a handful of parsley
  • cayenne pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • olive oil

Directions:

    1. Preheat the wood-fired oven to about 425°-450°F - 220°-230°C
    2. With a sharp knife chop the cauliflower florets and stems into smaller pieces. Place into a bowl. Do not rice the cauliflower in the food processor as you still want some larger pieces in the mixture. 
    3. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and the crushed garlic to the cauliflower.
    4. Mince the fresh rosemary and add to the cauliflower along with cayenne pepper flakes and salt.
    5. Give it a good stir while adding a generous drizzle of olive oil.
    6. Drizzle the pan with olive oil and evenly spread and distribute the cauliflower on the pan.
    7. With the infrared thermometer check the temperature of the oven by pointing it on the surface of the stone away from the fire. It should register anywhere between 425°-450°F - 220°-230°C.
    8. Place the pan in the oven and close the door. After 15 minutes give it a quick stir and place it once again in the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes. 
    9. It is done when you notice a deep golden caramelized color along all the edges. 
    10. As the cauliflower is finishing roasting you can pour the penne pasta into the salted boiling water. Normally we would drain and toss the "al dente" pasta in the pan with the roasted cauliflower allowing the flavors to marry. This time we just mixed all ingredients in the serving bowl and plated each serving immediately. 
    11. Once plated dust everything with a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano, a light dusting of cayenne pepper, and a drizzle of good olive oil. Finish everything off with some chopped, fresh Italian parsley.

    Buon Appetito!

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