Lately, all the tell-tale nature signs have been pointing towards Spring. More birds are coming out and singing their spring songs, the bulbs are poking out of the ground, the days are getting longer and the sun has that little extra warmth to it. Ahh, I love Spring. Now, the classic New England Spring would bring us a slammer snow storm, just when we were all thinking we were in the clear, opening our windows and doing a little spring cleaning. We will see!
Pasta, to some, may solely be a winter food. But, for us, it’s definitely a year-round food! (Pasta salad anyone?) I can’t wait until we have fresh veggies from the garden to mix in with spaghetti. This particular dish is a little more on the comfort side. It has breadcrumbs mixed in, people! I mean really, you can’t go wrong with that. Plus, the addition of roasted cauliflower adds a little caramelized taste, while you get your veggie fix! I was a little hesitant when I first saw this recipe. But, as I read through the ingredients and the directions, I thought I’d give it a shot. There was no need for the hesitation in the first place! It’s hearty, tasty and filling. It makes the perfect bowl to curl up with on the chillier nights.
Recipe adapted from Healthy Dish of the Day
For the bread crumbs
- 1 cup panko
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
For the pasta
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 3/4 lb. whole wheat penne
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley ( or 2 Tablespoons dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Mix the panko, olive oil, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and parsley together in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Stirring often, toasted until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets, discarding the leaves. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the minced garlic. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is lightly browned and tender when poked with a fork. Remove from the oven.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, bring 4-quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta, making sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot. Gently mix in the cauliflower, lemon juice, parsley, red pepper flakes and the reserved pasta water. Stir in the panko and Parmesan cheese. Serve.