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
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.