This recipe is a combination of a few of my favorite things, roasted cauliflower and a pasta that the Italians call Aglio E Olio. My step mother introduced this pasta to my twin sister and I when we were young, young enough to where it would be absolutely pointless to try and get us to properly pronounce the word Aglio or Olio so there was an easier route just calling it “Iowya”. Throughout our lives we ate this pasta probably every week if she would make it, the combination of aromatic garlic, parmesan cheese, and olive oil was as addicting to us as blue Powerade and pizza rolls. I’ll never forget teaching my first college roommate (besides my twin sister but that doesn’t count because we were wombmates) how to make this pasta and she would eat it by the pound, THE POUND. It’s that good people and not to mention so easy and so affordable with only a few ingredients needed to create a masterpiece. Less is more in Iowya I just decided to spruce it up a bit and add one of my favorite vegetables which can also be interchanged with things like broccoli, brussels sprouts and asparagus.

Roasted vegetables, I don’t even know where to start, I love them I eat them every week, in my eyes it is the easiest and tastiest method of cooking vegetables there is. Roasting vegetables just intensifies their flavors, by adding extreme heat the natural sugars in vegetables caramelize thus the reason you’ll see the brown color as they roast. God bless the roasted vegetable. Along with the addition of roasted vegetables I decided that a little crunch on top from a spiked breadcrumb mixture would be the perfect touch that takes this pasta from good to OUTSTANDING. It’s amazing what a little crunch and texture can do to a dish.

Ingredients:

1lbs. Pasta

4 cups Raw Cauliflower (1 small head or 1/2 large head) cut into florets

5 Cloves of Garlic (pressed)

1/4 cup + 2 tbs. Olive Oil (divided)

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)

1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

2 tsp. Paprika

1/2 tbs. Garlic Powder

1/2 tbs. Onion Powder

4 tbs. Parsley

1/4 cup Bread Crumbs (toasted)

1 tsp. Butter

1 tsp. Lemon Zest

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

  • For roasted cauliflower, preheat oven to 400 degrees, place cauliflower florets on lined baking sheet and toss with 1-2 tbs. olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper, roast for 25-30 minutes until tender and caramelized.
  • For Pasta, bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package until al dente.
  • Meanwhile in a small sauce pan heat the 1 tsp. of butter and add the bread crumbs and toast (should take about 3-4 minutes) until they start to brown pull off heat and set aside in bowl, toss with lemon zest.
  • In the same saucepan add the 1/4 cup of olive oil and press each clove of garlic into the oil. When the garlic starts to cook keep a close eye on it and cook until just slightly browning pull off heat until pasta is cooked.
  • Once pasta is cooked drain and place pasta back into the pot, pour over the garlic and olive oil, add the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, parsley, and 1 tsp each salt and pepper and toss to combine (taste for seasonings if it needs more salt or pepper, sometimes different cheeses come out saltier than others)
  • Plate pasta, top with bread crumb and lemon zest mixture. Enjoy!

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