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Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower

Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower

I met my husband, Rodolfo, in his hometown of Modena thirty years ago and when I finally convinced him to bring me home to meet his family, this is what his mother made for me. Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower has always been her signature dish and I have always loved it, even though cauliflower is not at the top of my favorite vegetable list. This is authentic Italian cooking because the sauce is made with one vegetable only when in season, relying heavily on good olive oil for flavor. The last few minutes of caramelization and a drizzle of raw oil is what makes it perfect. 

Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 6

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Core the cauliflower and cut the head into bite-sized florets. In a large skillet, cook 3 tablespoons of oil with the cauliflower, onion, garlic, and salt on a medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Cover the skillet with a tight-fitting lid. If your lid is letting the steam out, remove the skillet from the heat and cover the skillet tightly with foil and place the lid on top of the foil for a tight fit. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
  3. Uncover the skillet and continue to cook the cauliflower uncovered, stirring frequently, on medium heat for 5 minutes until the cauliflower caramelizes to a light, golden brown.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and cover.
  5. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt, or to taste.
  6. Cook pasta according to the instructions.
  7. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss with the cauliflower. Mix in the cheese and parsley.
  8. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and serve immediately.

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