Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Beets, Tomatoes & Crispy Breadcrumbs

Adapted from The Lazy Gourmet

Printable Recipe

Hands-on time:  10-15 minutes
Roasting time: 20-25 minutes (or until the vegetables are fork tender – this stage can even be prepared the day before)
Final cooking: 10 minutes

Serves: 6-8

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 medium roasted beet, peeled & cut into chunks ( roast at the same time as the cauliflower, but separately – drizzled with oil in a foil pouch to avoid the cauliflower from bleeding)
3+ tbsp olive oil (enough to glisten on all the cauliflower once tossed)
Salt & pepper
¾ lb/400g small pasta (rotini, fusili, gemelli or baby shells)
1 cup homemade breadcrumbs or panko crumbs sautéed in butter
1- 2 cans (14oz/398ml) diced tomatoes, drained – reserve the juice (I prefer fire roasted)
¼ cup capers, drained
¼ - 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
glug of red wine (little or as much as you need just "wet" the pasta)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

1. Pre heat the oven to 450°F/220°C.

2. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower, onion, rosemary and garlic with olive oil, salt & pepper.   Coat well and transfer to an oven proof dish. 

3. Cut a medium beet into quarters and place on a square of tin foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and seal as a pouch.   Place the packet beside the  cauliflower in the oven.  Roast until fork tender  (20-35 minutes) and the cauliflower is beginning to brown.

4. Cook pasta according to directions.  

5.  While the pasta is cooking,  prepare your bread crumbs.  This time I made my own croutons, so I just pulsed them in the food processor a few times until they were coarsely chopped.   Other times I pulse bread and then heat some oil or butter in a hot skillet and one the butter is melted or oil is hot, I add the crumbs and toss with hot butter.  I continue to toss and cook until they are “toasted”.   Set aside.

6.  Once the pasta is cooked al dente,  drain and return to the pot on the stove.  Add the roasted vegetables, drained tomatoes (start with one tin and only add more if you need it.), capers, crushed red pepper flakes ,  Toss and cook over medium heat until everything is heated through.  If the mixture looks too dry, add a little tomato juice and or red wine.  Taste and see if you need to add any more red pepper. 

Serve in pasta bowls topped with breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.

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