Saturday, December 8, 2007

Penne with Caramelized Cauliflower

For tonight's dinner, I tried another recipe from the November/December 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times. Though I altered it a bit, both my husband and I agreed - this one's a winner.
Penne with Caramelized Cauliflower
Serves 6 * Vegan * 30 minutes or less
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing baking sheet (I didn't need any extra for the sheet - the oil from the cauliflower was plenty)
  • 1 small cauliflower (1 lb.), cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb. penne rigate
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (I omitted this - I don't do spicy)
  • Grated vegan Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional (I also omitted this)
  1. Place oven rack in highest position, and preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Grease baking sheet with olive oil. Toss cauliflower with 2 Tbs. olive oil on prepared baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, and spread in single layer. Roast 18 minutes, or until cauliflower pieces are browned. (Next time I make this, I'll turn the cauliflower mid-roast for even color.)
  2. Meanwhile, pulse parsley, lemon zest, and remaining 2 Tbs. oil in food processor (we's po' and don't have a food processor, so we used a blender - it worked fine) until chunky sauce forms. Add capers, and pulse until capers are coarsely chopped.
  3. Cook penne in boiling water 11 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, and reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Toss pasta with cauliflower, parsley sauce, and red pepper flakes (ew) in large serving bowl (or the pot you boiled the pasta in if you're ghetto like me), adding reserved cooking water if sauce seems too thick. (I didn't need to add any water.) Sprinkle with vegan Parmesan cheese ... if you have it ... which we didn't ... so we didn't.

We enjoyed this dish with huge side salads. The lemon rind really gave the pasta a fresh flavor. It was light and the caramelized cauliflower tasted sweet and smoky. I did add a bit of salt to it, but I probably wouldn't have needed to if we'd had the vegan parmesan the recipe called for.

Like the magazine suggests, I'd totally make the cauliflower alone as a side dish.


Anchored Away said...

OMG Yum! That really looks divine.

One of these days, I'll get brave and try a recipe that requires more than "just add water."

Marni said...

Dude, you aren't fooling anyone. I've seen you make braided and stuffed pizza bread. This was easy -- no braiding or stuffing involved. :)

Madhuram said...

I love pasta and this combination of pasta and cauliflower looks very good. I'm going to try it definitely.

Marni said...

Madhuram - Oh! It's sooooo good! The caramelization process really brings out the natural sweetness of the cauliflower. It's really wonderful.