I have a thing for black pepper cream sauce pastas. As I’m editing the photos for this post I can’t help but notice they look a lot like the ones from this post. I even used the same plate! (Insert ashamed emoji here). To be fair, I don’t have many pretty plates though. Greg and I still use white Corelle plates that I couldn’t even tell where they came from. When I started this blog I bought 3 colorful dishes and those are my go-to’s. Maybe I should expand my collection.
But this is not the same pasta. This one has CAULIFLOWER! And it’s a super food. Maybe I make it less super by adding all kinds of cheese and pasta but, hey, YOLO.
We grow a lot of cauliflower. The first planting goes into the ground in May and several others follow through July. This means we’re harvesting cauliflower well into November and with temperature and humidity controls we can store it for several weeks. So if you want fresh, local cauliflower for Thanksgiving and Christmas – we’ve got it.
All of our cauliflower is hand-tied when the heads are about two inches wide to ensure that the heads are snow-white and tender when harvested. A rubber band is used to hold the plant’s leaves up around the head. We also do this with our orange and purple varieties.
For me, roasting cauliflower is the only way to go. It’s tender but not mushy. Believe it or not cauliflower doesn’t have to be covered in cheese for it to taste good. When roasting it as a side dish I use all kinds of seasonings – garlic, assorted chili powders, balsamic, herbs, etc. (But not all at the same time). Seriously, it’s good with almost anything. You can also use it as a natural sweetener in sauces and soups.
I know, I’m going on and on about cauliflower and you can’t even see it in the pasta! You can taste it though. And you can feel good about eating this because it includes vegetables. Right?
But these Candies Jalapenos are the real star. I recently tried these for the first time and now I want to put them in everything. I literally can’t stop thinking about putting them on a pizza. Stay tuned.
Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Candied Jalapenos
- Serves 6
- Total Time 1 hour
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper, divided
1 pound pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup pasta water (reserved from cooking pasta)
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
½ - ¾ cup 1% milk
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup Candied Jalapenos, chopped + some for garnish
DirectionsCook pasta al dente according to package instructions, reserving the pasta water. Immediately after cooking, run pasta under cold water to stop cooking and set aside.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread cauliflower in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through and well browned.
To toast pine nuts, put nuts in a dry skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until slightly golden, about 3 minutes. Set aside. In a large sauce pan, melt butter and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pepper and cook additional minute. Add flour, stirring, until a golden roux is produced. Slowly add pasta water, stirring constantly, until creamy. Add Parmesan and Pecorino Romano. Slowly stir in ½ - ¾ cup milk until desired consistency is reached. Stir in cooked pasta, roasted cauliflower, pine nuts and chopped Candied Jalapenos until well combined. Serve immediately and garnish with Candied Jalapenos.