Meatless Monday – Penne with Roasted Cauliflower & Greens

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Move over pasta with tomato sauce, penne with cauliflower roasted with parmesan and buttery wilted greens will knock you out of the ring! This is an easy and delicious, complete dinner in one bowl. Pasta is an easy go to for dinner because it’s inexpensive and quick to prepare.  Did you know that the average American eats 20 pounds of pasta a year? That’s a lot of carbs but luckily there are many whole grain and nutritious pastas from which to choose that are not empty calories but actualy boost nutrients and dietary fiber.  My current favorite is Ancient Grains Penne by Tru Roots (that I buy from Costco) made with a blend of organic whole grains including, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth and corn. It is naturally gluten free and has a great taste and texture in addition to all of it’s wholesome goodness.

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Cauliflower is not only one of the World’s Healthiest Foods, it’s also a vegetable chameleon that can take on many flavors and textures depending on how it’s prepared. When roasted, especially with a sprinkling of parmesan, cauliflower becomes golden brown with rich and salty/sweet caramel flavors.  The crispy, almost burned bits of parmesan are divine so make sure you scrape them in with the cauliflower.  Roasted cauliflower also pairs nicely with the sauteed garlic and fresh greens.  I love an extra sprinkle of parmesan and red pepper flakes on top for an extra flavor boost.

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TIPS: I had a big bag of power greens that included spinach, chard and kale but any leafy green will work in this recipe. The trick is to not overcook the greens so they don’t lose their deep glossy green hue.  (Thicker greens like collards may need to saute a bit longer.) If you love greens, add more than you think.  They shrink quite a bit when cooked. One bunch is usually about 2 cups so plan according to your tastes. Don’t forget to save a cup of pasta water before draining. It is a miracle liquid and not to be underestimated. You can add it back to the pasta if needed to give it more of a ‘sauce’ and avoid  the temptation of adding more oil or butter.

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PENNE WITH ROASTED CAULIFLOWER AND GREENS

3/4 lb penne pasta
1 head cauliflower
1 large bunch spinach (kale, arugula or chard)
2 shallots (or 1/2 yellow onion), finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated parmesan (optional)

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  • Cut or break up cauliflower into bite sized florets. Spread cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer and spray or brush with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, red pepper flakes and half of the parmesan (if using) and bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times to brown all sides and get all the crunchy parmesan bits off the pan (yum!).

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  • Remove cauliflower from oven when easily pierced with a knife and let cool.

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  • Boil pasta as directed and reserve one cup of pasta water before draining.  Set aside.

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  • Saute red pepper flakes, garlic and shallots in olive oil until soft and fragrant, 4 or 5 minutes.

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  • Add greens and saute until just wilted, remove from heat.

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  • Stir in the cauliflower and pasta, adding pasta water as needed.

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  • To serve, sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

 

Penne with Roasted Cauliflower and Greens

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
20160119_093908 

3/4 lb penne pasta
1 head cauliflower
1 large bunch spinach (kale, arugula or chard)
2 shallots (or 1/2 yellow onion), finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated parmesan (optional)

  • Cut or break up cauliflower into bite sized florets.
  • Spread cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer and spray or brush with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes and half of the parmesan and bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times to brown all sides and get all the crunchy parmesan bits off the pan (yum!).
  • Boil pasta as directed and reserve one cup of pasta water before draining.  Set aside.
  • Saute garlic and shallots in olive oil until soft and fragrant, 4 or 5 minutes.
  • Add spinach and saute until just wilted, remove from heat.
  • Stir in the cauliflower and pasta, adding pasta water as needed.
  • Sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

 

3 thoughts on “Meatless Monday – Penne with Roasted Cauliflower & Greens

  1. Yummy! This looks delicious; we really love the addition of roasted cauliflower and the extra spicy note. Your brand of pasta sounds intriguing; if only Costco was open to everyone here too! Thanks for sharing Joyce. 🙂

    Like

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