Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Penne

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Yesterday was a backbreaking, sunburned day of harvesting my winter garden and putting in the summer one. But the spoils included some heavenly purple cauliflower that begged to be roasted with garlic and herbs and tossed with pasta. (Well in my head it wanted to!) This is a very light pasta (but with bold flavors and colors!) that creates its own sauce from the water the pasta is cooked in plus the oils from the pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes. Certainly you can use any color of cauliflower and spinach in exchange for arugula.

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Servings: 4
Time: 40 minutes active and in total

4 cups cauliflower, chopped (from 1 medium head)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh sage
4 garlic cloves
8 ounces whole-wheat penne (or other shape you prefer)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 ounces arugula, washed and dried
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay chopped cauliflower on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray. Toss with extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon salt.
3. Process sage and garlic in a food processor and when the cauliflower is lightly browned, remove from the oven, toss with sage-garlic mixture and return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven.
4. When pasta water comes to a boil, add penne and cook until al dente, about 9 or 10 minutes.
5. Drain pasta, but reserve 1 cup pasta water. In a large skillet over medium heat, put cauliflower, penne, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and parmesan cheese. Toss until cheese is melted and everything is well incorporated. Plate and serve with extra parmesan.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food and is a vegetarian—she doesn’t believe these things are mutually exclusive. A vegetarian for the past nine years, Adrienne created Vegetarianized.com as a way to share her passion for eating, drinking, and cooking—and to make vegetarianism more accessible. The blog transforms meat dishes into vegetarian or improves vegetarian recipes and puts the results up in a weekly post called the Sunday Serving on the blog and at the Facebook Group Vegetarianized. Adrienne is also a food writer, teaches cooking classes in Davis and is an amateur caterer. Upcoming cooking classes and recent food articles are found on the blog home page.