Roasted Cauliflower and Caper Pasta
From Sara Jenkins, via Tasting Table
Me and change are definitely NOT besties. Not the money kind of change (I was actually an avid penny collector as a kid, so I’m definitely pro currency), but the kind where I get a new computer and have absolutely no idea how to work Windows 8 and have a minor breakdown at 10pm while trying to post this pasta. For the record, I’m also not a big fan of the rack configuration in our new dishwasher, so this is definitely not a technology-centric aversion. I just like things to be easy, and usually that means doing them the way I already figured out. John, on the other hand, is remarkably easy going when it comes to this stuff (and, not surprisingly, utterly unsympathetic during my 10pm breakdown…I believe the phrase “why don’t you cry about it” was used). He even took our family’s conversion to whole wheat pasta in stride. I, despite being the driving force behind making the change, waffled between buying whole wheat and “the good stuff” for years before finally making the commitment to whole grains. These days we only keep whole wheat pasta on hand and now I barely notice the difference. We’ve even taken it a step further and started combining pasta with cauliflower as the base of pasta dishes. This is one of those rare good changes, because it means we get to eat HUGE bowls of pasta without that gross, overfull feeling. Now if only I could find a way around the gross, over-confused feeling I get from using stupid Windows 8.
- 1 head cauliflower, cored and trimmed into bite-sized florets
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 6 oz pasta (we used Hodgson Mill whole wheat spirals)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 anchovy filet, chopped
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, toasted (we used whole wheat crumbs that we had frozen)
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for about 35 minutes, tossing half way through, until golden around the edges.
- When cauliflower is almost done, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente.
- While pasta cooks, make the sauce. Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, add garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the capers and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, about 1 minute.
- Add the anchovy and continue cooking, stirring, until the anchovy dissolves, about 2 minutes.
- Gently stir in the cauliflower and remove from heat.
- Drain pasta and toss immediately with the cauliflower mixture. Add the bread crumbs and cheese, and stir to combine.