I’ve been roasting cauliflower a lot lately because it’s a very versatile vegetable. Once roasted, you can use it in a variety of dishes, and this is one of them.
Even if you aren’t a fan of cauliflower, I guarantee that you will like it roasted. Roasting brings out both a sweetness and a smokiness, not to mention a fabulous umami flavor. You can certainly start from scratch and roast the cauliflower specifically for this purpose, but I love the idea of roasting a whole head and having it in the refrigerator to use for the whole week. Then, when you’re ready to make dinner, take some out and add it to whatever you’re making. It will taste great. (You can refer to my blog on Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Bisque on how to roast the cauliflower.)
On this particular evening, I made Spinach Fettuccine with Roasted Cauliflower-Almond Sauce. Pasta with cauliflower and nuts (particularly pine nuts, or pignoli) is a typical Italian dish, and is especially popular in Sicily. My version calls for the roasted cauliflower and toasted almonds. The spinach fettuccine that I had came in the form of “nests,” but you can use any kind or brand of spinach fettuccine.
Spinach Fettuccine with Roasted Cauliflower-Almond Sauce
Makes 2 servings
½ pound spinach fettuccine
Salt, plus extra
½ cup blanched almonds
3 cups roasted cauliflower (see blog entry HERE)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon paprika
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and 2 teaspoons salt and stir. Cooking, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a small, hot skillet. Stir often until lightly browned on both sides, about 3 or 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop.Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.Heat the oil in a wide skillet. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, a minute or so.Add the paprika then quickly add the cauliflower. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the almonds.When the fettuccine is done, drain well.Transfer to a large bowl. Pour the vegetables over the pasta and mix well. Sprinkle the parmigiana and mix again. Serve hot.