Since I made the decision three weeks ago to eat healthier and exercise on a regular day basis, I have been trying out a bunch of different recipes, with the large majority being vegetarian dishes. No, I am not converting, I just wanted to eat less meat. Well, telling Chris this, made him a little nervous, for he does not exactly share my new found love of vegetarian meals. So, tonight when I told him I was making this pasta dish, he said, "Oh great, another meatless dish." Well, after eating this pasta dish, he looked at me and said, "Okay, this is blog worthy." Seriously? I said. This means he LOVED it! And, he sure did. Now, he ate like 5 platefuls of this stuff so I know he really liked it! Anyways, this dish is really good. Really, I loved it! It has such nice flavors running all the way through it. The toasted walnuts and fresh grated parmesan really make this dish shine. So try it sometime when you are in the mood for a meatless dish.
My Kitchen Cafe blog
2 heads garlic, papery skins removed, top quarter of heads cut off (on the pointy side of garlic) and discarded
6 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 pound short pasta ( I used Ronzoni smart taste brand: Rotini)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. juice from 1 lemon
1 heaping Tbsp. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, place a large rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees.
Cut one 12-inch sheet of foil and spread it flat on the counter. Place the garlic heads, cut side up, in the center of the foil. Drizzle 1/2 tsp. olive oil over each head and fold up the sides of the foil to seal well. Place the foil packet directly on the oven rack (not on the preheating baking sheet) and roast until the garlic is very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the foil packet from the oven, open the foil and set it aside to cool.
While the garlic is roasting, trim the outer leaves off of the cauliflower and cut the stem flush with the bottom. Cut the head from pole to pole into 8 equal wedges and then cut the cauliflower into large bite-sized pieces. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl; toss with 2 Tbsp. oil, salt, pepper, and sugar.
Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Carefully transfer the cauliflower to the baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the cauliflower is well browned and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
While the cauliflower roasts, bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 Tbsp. salt and pasta; cook until al dente. Squeeze the cooled, roasted garlic cloves from their skins into a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the garlic to a smooth paste, then stir in red pepper flakes and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice. Slowly whisk in remaining 1/4 cup oil.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water, and return the pasta to the pot. Add the chopped cauliflower to the pasta; stir in the garlic sauce, 1/4 cup cooking water, parsley, and 1/2 cup cheese. Adjust the consistency of the pasta with additional cooking water and season with salt and pepper. serve immediately, sprinkling with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and toasted nuts.
Note: I added a total of 1/2 cup cooking water in ours.