Simple cauliflower pasta
I usually try to avoid dishes with pretty much only one vegetable, since variety is so important to healthy eating. However, considering all the good-for-you things in this pasta, it was a treat I was willing to make an exception for. This pasta isn’t the prettiest of them all, but it’s so wonderful when you need something quick yet satisfying and comforting. The flavours: cheese, cauliflower, olives, chilli, lemon and parsley (although the parsley is mostly for colour…you can add more if you want though, I just didn’t want to decimate my plant). I used the rest of my sheeps cheese (havarti from Kingsmeade, courtesy of judging the Taste Farmers Markets New Zealand Awards!), but you can use any strong hard cheese, parmesan being the obvious example.* Together this is surprisingly strong on the umami from the cheese and olives, with a lovely nutty crunch from the cauliflower and a tangy refreshing hint of lemon and kick of pepper and chilli to add interest. If you’re not an olive fan it’s easy enough to omit them, and as I said the parsley is mainly for some colour (although it’s also good for your obviously), so in the end you could make this very simple.
*Dilemma: saying parmigiano reggiano feels soooo pretentious, but that’s really what I mean – I implore you to get the real Italian stuff, because as much as I love buying local, nothing really comes close (or does it? let me know if you find someone in NZ who does).
- about 300g pasta
- about 4c cauliflower florets
- optional: generous handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
In a bowl, mix together:
- juice and zest of one lemon
- about 1/2c finely grated strong hard cheese
- optional: about 1/2c pitted kalamata olives, or some anchovies, chopped into a mince
- about 1/4 tsp good chilli sauce (not sweet chilli or anything pureed) or red chilli flakes
- salt and loads of freshly coarsely ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil (a generous drizzle)