I hate cauliflower. I like vegetables in general, but cauliflower is not my friend. I do like it roasted with olive oil. And I do like it with pasta. So when Veronica (my daughter) asked me to make penne with cauliflower, how could I resist? As with all pasta recipes, this one is also subject to variation, so if you want to be creative, you can: 1) mash the cauliflower after the initial sauté to make it more of a puree; or 2) eliminate the tomatoes, or 3) use chicken stock (up to 2 cups) in lieu of all or some of the cream. But, here’s how I like it, with the cauliflower, nicely disguised.
Cut the cauliflower into small, bite-size florets, and wash. In a large skillet, sauté the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Then add the cauliflower and sauté for 5 more minutes. Drain the tomato juice from the can, and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the onion and cauliflower and cover for 5-10 minutes or until the cauliflower is still firm, but tender. Uncover and add the cream and salt and pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmigiano. Meanwhile, boil the water and cook the penne until al dente. Drain the penne and add it to the cauliflower mixture.
Sprinkle with Parmigiano and serve immediately. Buon Appetito!
Check out our wine pairings to compliment this recipe.
Ed Garrubbo, Editor