Fruity, briny olives add meaty flavor to this meatless one-dish meal.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium shallots, peeled and cut into wedges
1 (1 1/2-pound) head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1/3 cup sliced Spanish olives
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 garlic cloves, crushed
12 ounces uncooked penne (tube-shaped pasta)
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 ounce fresh pecorino Romano cheese, shaved
How to Make It
Place a small heavy roasting pan in oven. Preheat oven to 450°.
Remove preheated pan from oven. Add butter and oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and cauliflower to pan; toss to coat. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Add olives and next 3 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; toss to combine. Bake an additional 7 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and browned.
Cook pasta in boiling water 7 minutes or until almost tender. Drain pasta through a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan over medium-high heat. Add reserved cooking liquid and cauliflower mixture; toss. Cook 2 minutes or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; sprinkle with parsley, and garnish with shaved cheese.
Given that separately, we like all of these ingredients, you would think putting them together would create a dish we adored. So not the case. Something about the brininess of the olives combined with the cheese made my husband and I both feel like we were eating sweaty gym socks. This was the third time in 12 years that we've been unable to eat something I've made. Not a winner for us.
Unfortunately this didn't turn out to work for me. The shallots were on the turn of burning at the 10 minute stage and I had to add more oil which I don't like doing as it was all absorbed. There was a point I was expecting to have to finish off in the microwave as 'becoming charred' on half of it was an understatement; even after keep stirring it every 5 mins. I didn't find it flavoursome even though I added extra garlic and seasoning. In total it took about an hour to make including putting the pan on to boil while the rest was in the oven. It left me exhausted and I won't be making it again sadly.
Amazing dish, and my son in law pointed out to me that there's no meat! It was the 3rd time I'd made it, and no one even noticed. The flavors all complement each other and it's not an expensive dish either. 5 stars from me.
I don't usually review recipes but this one deserved it! My husband could not get enough of this - and he was skeptical when I announced that we would be eating cauliflower pasta for dinner. The cauliflower develops great flavor in roasting. The few minor changes I made were decreasing the salt, deglazed the roasting pot/pan with 1/4 cup white wine and used whole wheat pasta. Will be adding this to our regular rotation of veggie & pasta dishes!
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