Mediterranean Inspired Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Preserved Lemons, Sun dried Olives & Tomatoes
Inspired by the back cover of Fine Cooking and served here with roasted salmon
Roasting time: 10-15 minutes
½ head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper
9 sage leaves, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes (in oil), thinly sliced
¼ cup sun dried black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
¼ cup preserved lemon, rinsed well, pulp removed and coarsely chopped
Pinch of red chili pepper flakes (more if you like it really spicy)
The magazine called for orecchiette but I couldn’t find any, so I bought fresh whole wheat linguine. Next time, I’d stick to any short pasta: penne, farfalle, rotini
1 -2 tbsp fresh parsley or oregano, finely chopped (as garnish)
handful of baby arugula leaves
Coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/200°C and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
2. Fill a large Dutch oven with water and bring to a boil.
3. While the pasta is boiling, prepare the “sauce”. Toss the cauliflower with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast on the prepared baking sheet for 5 minutes or so…just until the cauliflower is soft, but not really colored yet.
4. While the cauliflower is roasting, combine the sage leaves, garlic, tomatoes. Olives, red pepper flakes and preserved lemons in a small bowl. Once the cauliflower is soft, add this mixture to the baking sheet. Toss with cauliflower and continue to roast until the cauliflower is golden.
5. Boil pasta with 1 tbsp salt for time specified on package. Fresh pasta takes less than five minutes – sometimes only 2-3, dried pasta takes anywhere from 5-10. So don’t start cooking the pasta until the cauliflower mixture is almost done. You can always turn the oven off and just leave them in topped with aluminum foil if the cauliflower looks golden before the pasta is al dente.
Note: I bring the pot of water to a boil at the beginning of my prep, that way it only takes a couple of minutes on high heat to actually cook the pasta so that it all comes together at the same time.
6. Drain the pasta when it’s al dente and place in a large serving bowl (reserve ¼ cup of cooking liquid). Add the cauliflower mixture, toss with coarsely grated cheese, arugula and a touch more olive oil. Taste for seasoning and add a little more red chili pepper flakes, more parsley and either cooking liquid or drizzle of extra virgin olive oil as a garnish.