Pasta Tossed with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Garlic

When in doubt, pasta. It’s quick, it’s shelf-stable, and it goes with most anything. Without further ado, here’s the recipe. (With a special shout out to my friend at the elementary school who loves “white broccoli.”)

Pasta Tossed with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Garlic

3 cloves of garlic
1 handful of cherry tomatoes
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
olive oil
1 cup chickpeas (optional)
parsley
salt and pepper

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup to 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
dash of Dijon mustard

1/2 pound dried pasta of your choice (we chose “Wacky Mac” because it was interesting)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place garlic, cherry tomatoes, and the cauliflower florets (tossed with olive oil) on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, turning the pan around once, and tossing as needed.

Roasting Veggies for Pasta Toss

Roasting Veggies for Pasta Toss

3. Meanwhile, place a pot of water on the stove to boil. When it’s boiling, add salt and pasta. Cook according to directions.

Bubble bubble pasta pot.

Bubble bubble pasta pot.

4. Also meanwhile (I believe in you Gentle Reader, keep moving!), melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour when the butter is just melted, and whisk till smooth. Cook the flour and butter to make a light roux, not too brown (2-3 minutes, max).

Making a roux.

Making a roux.

5. Stir in the milk, keep whisking until mixture thickens slightly, just a few minutes more. Stir in cheese and mustard, whisk until smooth. (Congratulations, you’ve just made poor man’s bechamel. You can change the cheese and herb profile to make mac and cheese, or any other pasta plus smooth cheese sauce combo.)

Poor man's bechamel.

Poor man's bechamel.

6. Check on garlic. If it’s soft and roasted, take it off the baking sheet, peel it, and mash it into the sauce. Test for flavor, add salt and pepper as needed.

Gently Stirring Pasta Toss

Gently Stirring Pasta Toss

7. Drain the cooked pasta and place into serving bowl. Toss with sauce. Add remaining roasted veggies and chickpeas, if desired. Toss gently. Top with minced parsley. Enjoy!

Pasta Tossed with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Garlic

Pasta Tossed with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Garlic

And that brings us back to Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. Tomorrow look for another week of menus and a whole lotta punting.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say that the Practical Cook loves the challenge of Snack Week, but she did an actual dance of joy in her kitchen that her tenure ended on Friday. Fortunately no one had the Flip camera in hand. Perhaps next time.

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3 Comments

Filed under On the Table, Recipes

3 responses to “Pasta Tossed with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Garlic

  1. iCook

    This looks great – you can’t beat roasted cauliflower. We’ve had much success with this *somewhat* similar recipe from Cooks Illustrated:

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/PASTA-WITH-ROASTED-CAULIFLOWER-GARLIC-AND-WALNUTS-50086201

  2. Pingback: Declaring My Independence: 3 Things | The Practical Cook

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