Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Dried Cranberries and Pine Nuts

cauli 2

Yes, in case everyone was wondering, this is still a blog with new posts. It has been quite a while, but with upcoming arrival of the baby Carnivore (or vegetarian), things have been hectic. I have still been making and eating nice meals, but now I’ll finally get a chance to tell you about one of them.

Over the past 3 or 4 months, I have seen a lot of restaurants offer cauliflower side dishes that have had some sort of dried fruit, a nut, usually pine, and some delicious vinaigrette. The key to all of this is the roasted, charred, cauliflower. Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorites, and while I usually roast them whole, it takes a while…and sometimes you just want to eat faster.

Here, I roast the cauliflower broken up in a pan, toss it with pasta, dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts, sherry vinegar, oil and goat ricotta cheese. You get a creamy texture from the cheese and a bite from everything else. Yes, this is starchy, but damn if it’s good anyway.

Loosely based on Serious Eats
Serves 2

1 head cauliflower, stem removed, broken up into large florets
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil divided
1/4 cup ricotta (goat or cow)
1/4 cup pine nuts – toasted
Kosher salt and pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
6 oz penne or similar pasta

Heat oven to 400. Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and add to a lined sheet tray or oven safe pan. Shake cauliflower around every 10 minutes or so. Roast for about 20-25 minutes until browned and softened.

Meanwhile, bring salted water to boil and cook pasta. While pasta and cauliflower are cooking, mix remaining oil, vinegar, cranberries and toasted pine nuts* and a little salt and pepper.

*to toast, add to a small, dry skillet and cook on medium for about 5-7 minutes.

When pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, and drain. Add back to pot with cheese, cauliflower, vinaigrette and a little pasta water if necessary. Toss to coat and serve!

About Evan Halperin

I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. Now, I will share with you what I like to cook. My wife and I may be a vegetarian and a carnivore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t cook a nice meal with both, without compromising taste. I will share my creative meals of the Carnivore and the Vegetarian.
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