Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Roasted cauliflower pasta

When I saw this recipe the other day, I knew it would be mine. Oh yes. It would be mine.

I also knew I'd make some changes. For a batch of food that would be an easy weeknight dinner plus some lunches to bring to work, I didn't feel like bothering with the proscuitto. I roasted the vegetables at least twice as long as they suggested. The idea of sage and arugula together didn't please my mental palate, so I left the sage out. And I doubled most of the amounts (including the pasta, which I should have left alone), but I used less than the original amount of cheese and it's still plenty delicious.

As less of a recipe and more of a formula for meals going forward, it's a good one. Roasting a combination of tomatoes and other vegetables and then using the olive oil and released juices as a sauce is kind of brilliant. And I loved the idea of throwing chopped garlic in for the last ten minutes or so instead of bothering to saute it.

When I got home from the gym, I quickly prepped some cauliflower (about half a head, but I'd do a full head in the future) and two pints of grape tomatoes with olive oil to coat and some salt. I threw that in a 425 oven while I showered and stirred it around occasionally while I was cooking the rest. It was probably in for 45 minutes or so, all told.
Hello, gorgeous.

In the meantime, I put a big pot of water on to boil for the pasta and half-assedly julienned a bag of arugula. I think it was julienned — where you grab a handful of leaves and sort of roll them up and slice the roll thinly? That's what I did, only half-assedly.
I chopped up four cloves of garlic — I did a pretty half-assed job of that too, come to think of it — and threw that in the roasting pan when the pasta went into the water. I used a full pound of pasta, but would definitely halve it next time. I like a much higher vegetable:pasta ratio than I got here. FOR HEALTH.* When the pasta was done and drained, reserving some of the water, and back in the pot, I took the vegetables out of the oven, added them and scraped all the oil and browned bits out too. I threw the arugula in by handfuls, stirring around to wilt it before adding more, and then added maybe 2/3 c. of grated parmesan and about a cup of pasta water.

Oooooh, steamy....

*On a recent flight, one of the flight attendants had a sort of annoying verbal tic of saying FOR SAFETY after everything she said: "Sir, you need to buckle your seat belt. FOR SAFETY." "I need you to put your pants back on. FOR SAFETY." And so on. I wouldn't say I've adopted it, but it bubbles up once in a while.

[originally posted on my old food blog 5.8.2009]

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