Pasta with Cauliflower, Garlic and Bread Crumbs

Pasta on a plate with cauliflower and breadcrumbs

It was back in New York that we got into eating local and seasonal produce only, which we’ve mentioned plenty of times before, and every fall (obviously) meant the biggest selection of fruit and veggies. Harvest season brought the most amazing display to the farmers market – open year round in Union Square – and it was such an incredible joy shopping there. Red Jacket, this one particular farm in upstate New York, had the BEST looking broccoli and cauliflower. For a month or so in the early fall, they would do $5 a head (they were massive!) and it became a staple in our tote – one head of broccoli and one of cauliflower, every week.

Fast forward a few years and we’re growing our own veggies – but boy, Red Jacket has us beat by A LOT when it comes to the size of our broccoli. Cauliflower we’re yet to try (it’s in the plan for next season), so we’ll see what we can do there. Anyway, this is just a very long way of saying broccoli and cauliflower are two of the best vegetables in the world and when they’re in season, you should go crazy and eat as much as you can. Jam packed with nutrients, endlessly versatile and so delicious – what’s not to like? We highlighted broccoli a few weeks ago through this Crunchy Broccoli Bowl and now it’s time for cauliflower. As the bread crumb fanatic as Mike is, he found a way to sneak those in here and I’ll be the first to admit it was a genius move. This dish really has everything going for it – a heaping amount of veggies, comforting pasta, white beans because, well, plant protein, perfectly salty sun dried tomatoes and darn delicious and garlicky bread crumbs for the heck of it. Give it a go!

För recept på svenska, klicka här: Pasta med blomkål, persilja och soltorkade tomater

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Roasted cauliflower 

1 large head of cauliflower (1.2 kg / 2 lb 10 oz)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper

Toasted bread crumbs 

5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 dl (3/4 cup) breadcrumbs 
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper

Assembly

500 g (16 oz) pasta 
1 dl (1/2 cup) reserved pasta water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 dl (3/4 cup) chopped parsley (~60 g / 2 oz)
1 dl (1/2 cup) chopped sun-dried tomatoes
6 dl (2 1/2 cups) cooked white beans (~460 g / 16 oz), rinsed and drained
Roasted cauliflower (from above)
Toasted breadcrumbs (from above)
Salt to taste (~1 tsp)
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 225ºC/430ºF. Cut the cauliflower head into florets, slice up the stem and chop the leaves roughly. Place it all on an oven sheet and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and a good grind of black pepper. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 min. Toss, and then place back in the oven for another 10-15 more min or until the edges start to brown. Remove from the oven, turn it off and set aside.
  2. For the breadcrumbs, sauté the garlic in olive oil for a minute or two, and then add in the breadcrumbs. Toast until golden, stirring often (approx. 5-7 min). Take it off the heat, season to taste and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package instructions, reserving 1 dl (1/2 cup) of the pasta water.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the pasta together with the reserved pasta water, lemon juice, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, white beans, roasted cauliflower and half of the toasted breadcrumbs. 
  5. Season to taste (we typically add 1 tsp of salt), top with reserved breadcrumbs and red pepper flakes and serve immediately*.

*If reheating leftovers, add a little bit of water to prevent that it comes out dry.

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