A very delicious pasta dish! So good, I’m making it again this week — tonight.
Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that I frequently pass up in the produce section. I don’t know why, but I have never been a huge cauliflower fan. I love it fried, but what isn’t good breaded and fried and dipped in a decadent sauce? I have used it in my Winter White Vegetable Soup and it’s fantastic, but even on a crudité platter, I will pass it up in favor of other vegetables.
When I saw this recipe in a recent Food Network magazine I knew I was going to have to give this vegetable another try. Pasta is good with practically any kind of sauce or with any type of vegetable mixed with it. I have even made a pumpkin pasta with a browned butter walnut sage sauce that is so delectable. With or without meat, pasta is a very satisfying entree. Sometimes on “girl’s night out” my husband will have me to just make him some plain pasta with either some pesto or nothing more than olive oil and a little Parmesan. He’s not that hard to please and he has been know to open a few boxes of mac and cheese for himself.
So, I say let’s give this vegetable another try you may just have a new favorite vegetable. Chop the basil and set aside. Saute the garlic and then add in the onion rings. Saute the cauliflower. Add the pasta water to the pan with the sautéed cauliflower. Mix the cauliflower mixture with the pasta and stir in the cheese and the basil.
Cauliflower Onion Linquine
(adapted from Food Network Magazine recipe)
12 oz. linguine
4 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
1/2 c. canned fried onions, chopped
4 c. cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
1/2-1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/4 c. pine nuts
parsley, chopped for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return to the pot and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add the panko and the fried onions and cook, stirring until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until the edges brown, about 4 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and toast 30 seconds. Add the reserved pasta water and cook until the liquid is reduced by half and the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 1 more minute. Add the pasta, onion mixture and Parmesan to the skillet and toss.
Season with salt. Top with the basil, pine nuts and more Parmesan. *Note: I like add a little parsley for color.