Is it possible to live on pasta alone? Could there be a more perfect meal choice? Rich and smothered in Italian cheeses or a lighter version made with fresh seasonal vegetables; pasta is my favorite dinner choice.
Yes, we sometimes have pasta every day of the week! We aren’t vegetarian, but I try to cook creative, healthy, meat-free pasta dishes as often as possible. I can my own tomatoes and we do eat them until we run out. Most evenings I open the refrigerator and check out what fresh veggies I happen to have.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE macaroni and cheese. I ADORE lasagne. But I save those dishes for once in a while. Sometimes a simple and delicate pasta dish is all I crave.
This cauliflower pasta dish is similar to one my mother-in-law Teresa makes. She is the guru of economic and healthy pasta dishes. She was successful in getting my kids to eat cauliflower by cleverly mixing it with pasta. Cauliflower happened to not be one of their favorite vegetables. Probably because I rarely cook with them. Since I learned her pasta recipe, that has changed. It’s now one of my favorite healthy pasta dishes.
I’ve been trying to remember tips I learned from Andrew Scrivani at IFBC. Andrew Scrivani talked to us about the beauty and appeal of steam in photos. It’s just not happening. I’ve almost burned myself every time. I think I need to leave the steamy photos to Andrew for now and will stay burn free.
We had seconds of this pasta dish. It was THAT good.
Pasta con Cavolofiore e Asparagi- Orecchiette with Cauliflower and Asparagus
1 head cauliflower, cored, cut into florets
1 cup of asparagus, diced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
1 small onion, diced
1 pound orecchiette pasta
a handful of Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring 6-quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. When the water comes to a boil, cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.
Divide the cauliflower into florets. Bring a medium sauce pan filled with a little bit of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower on top of your steamer and let the cauliflower simmer covered. Steam the cauliflower for about 10 minutes.
While the cauliflower is steaming, sauté’ the onion and asparagus. The asparagus should be al dente. Remove the cauliflower from the steamer and pulse a few times in a food processor.
You could also mash the cauliflower with a potato masher. Add the asparagus mixture and mix together.
Drain the pasta and add to the cauliflower mixture. If needed, add a little more extra-virgin olive oil, add the chopped parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Hope you have a FABULOUS weekend! I’ve been sort of MIA recently. Back to school has been keeping me swamped and with little time to visit my blogging friends. I do miss seeing what you all have been up to. Luca has had some sleep issues and it’s like having a newborn again. I’m seriously sleep-deprived and trying to not be cranky. Tonight I’m hoping for a full night’s sleep. Keep your fingers crossed for us!