I’m always on the lookout for easy, economical, dairy-free pasta recipes, particularly ones that don’t rely on red sauce or lots of meat.  This one, from the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living, fits the bill.  It’s light, zesty, and (mostly) 4-year-old-approved (he liked the cauliflower and the capers but not the parsley).  The original recipe called for only 8 ounces of pasta — I increased it to 12 to stretch the dish out to two meals and added a little extra vinaigrette to compensate.

Pasta with roasted cauliflower and lemon

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Yield:  Serves 6

1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 red onion, quartered and sliced

1/4 c. capers, rinsed

About 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

12 oz. orecchiette or other small pasta

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 c. finely chopped, fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss cauliflower, onion, and capers with about 2 tbsp. of the oil in a mixing bowl.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper, and roast, turning occasionally, until cauliflower is browned and tender, about 35 minutes.

While cauliflower cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta.  Drain.

While pasta cooks, whisk remaining 1/4 c. oil with lemon juice and zest in a large mixing bowl.  Add drained pasta, roasted vegetables, and parsley, and toss to coat with vinaigrette.  Add a bit more oil if pasta seems dry, and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

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