Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives

Roasting veggies is one of my favorite ways to enjoy my veggies and I will roast all types of veggies, even Kale!  Roasting brings out a unique nutty and crispy taste and texture.  I am totally pleased and satisfied to dine on a dish of seasonally fresh and healthy veggies!

 This dish is gorgeous to present and full of flavor.  It has a Mediterranean feeling with a sun-kissed melody of color and zest.  I like to play up the veggies and downplay the carbs, so for this serving for four I only used ½ pound of pasta.  Any type of pasta will work well in this dish but I used corn spaghetti, which is gluten free adding another level of veggie flavor and yellow color to the dish.  Sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives round out the dish and the bread crumb topping, tho optional, definitely adds another dimension of taste.   And a sprinkling of feta on top would also be so nice!

 I make a type of gremolata topping for this dish using a mix of toasted breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, lemon zest and parsley.  Tho it is always best made fresh, I keep a small container of this in my refrigerator, at times with or without the breadcrumbs, and use it to sprinkle on top of various dishes I prepare.  The fresh parsley and lemon zest brighten dishes and I will play with additional ingredients adding in mint or finely chopped hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts to make a flavorful garnish to grilled or roasted meats.   If made ahead use within a day or two.

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives

 1 medium cauliflower, trimmed into florets

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ pound spaghetti or favorite style (I used gluten-free corn spaghetti)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved

½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 heaping tablespoon pesto

½ cup – ¾ cup pasta cooking water

For the topping:

¼ cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon ghee or butter

¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Zest of one lemon

2 – 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on large baking sheet.  Roast for approximately 30-35 minutes until lightly golden around the edges.   In a large skillet, prepare the breadcrumb topping by lightly toasting the breadcrumbs in 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter.  Remove from the skillet and place in a medium size bowl. Stir in the minced garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and chopped parsley, set aside. 

When the cauliflower is close to done roasting, begin heating  2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet used to toast the breadcrumbs.  Gently warm the olives, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic.  Pour in ½ cup to ¾ cup pasta cooking water and pesto and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Drain the pasta and add to the skillet, quickly tossing.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle on additional olive oil and lemon juice if necessary.  Plate in a large bowl, sprinkle on the breadcumb topping and serve immediately.  Serves 4.

2 thoughts on “Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives

  1. I love roasted vegetables, I agree with you, roasting brings out the favours and at the same time mellows them. The roasted cauliflower pasta dish looks lovely!

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