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Sometimes a bowl of pasta isn't just a bowl of pasta

Some of you may know that I am participating in a year long challenge to never repeat a recipe twice in 2011 and we are documenting in on a blog called no reEATS. I like to think of my little family as a group of very non picky, adventurous eaters. My kid eats every manner of seafood, will suck a shrimp head before biting it off and spitting it to the side, whole fish served head on makes him giddy with glee and would eat octopus sushi for breakfast every morning if I would let him.

I forget that, from time to time, they have some weird ideas about food and because I will truly eat almost anything within reason and there are only a very ingredients that I cannot physically swallow, like snotty okra or squeaky tripe, I have no patience for picky eating for picky eating's sake.

Last week, after a morning of searching for tasty sounding, simple recipes, I came across this recipe on Jonesing For for a roasted garlic/cauliflower pasta and my mouth was watering. How could this not be perfect? We all love roasted cauliflower, garlic, pasta, lemon, olive oil and pine nuts. I couldn't wait to eat it!

It was really easy and quick to put together (I skipped the par boiling of the garlic) and at the last minute decided to forgo making home made pasta, which, in retrospect, was a great idea.

Anyway, just follow the recipe (again, i would just skip par boiling the pasta) as it's written and you will have a really tasty, quick and simple dinner.

I am not going to go into greater detail about my tale of woe regarding the family domestic that resulted when the boys decided they didn't care for this all that much and didn't want to eat it at all. If you check over at no reEATS tomorrow, you can read about the entire sordid incident in detail.

Bottom line is that it was so good, I loved it and I would happily eat it again and again and would also use the exact technique to make the same dish but using other roasted veggies like brussels sprouts, broccoli, squash or zucchini.

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

Makes about 4 servings
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small clusters
  • 4½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts (toast in a dry pan until nicely starting to brown)
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 oz. pasta of your choice, like spaghetti, spaghettini, linguine or fettucine
1.) Preheat oven to 450° F. 
2.) On a sheet pan or in a nice, heavy cast iron skillet,  toss the cauliflower with the garlic, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the cauliflower is soft and slightly browned .
Meanwhile, put a big pot of water on to boil. When the cauliflower is about 5 to 8 minutes away from being done, season the water with salt. Cook the pasta into the boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve some of the pasta water, then drain and put pasta in large mixing bowl.
3.) Scrape the cauliflower with garlic and pan juices into large mixing bowl with pasta. Add remaining 1½ Tbsp. olive oil, parsley, pine nuts and lemon juice. Sprinkle with another ½ tsp. salt. Toss everything together, adding pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce. 
Sprinkle each plate with a generous amount of freshly squeezed parmesan.

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