Dinner,  Gluten-free,  Vegetables

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.

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


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