Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts and Feta

I cannot tell a lie. I didn't actually come up with this recipe. It was "borrowed" from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen. I've actually made this dish before, in my pre-blog days, when I was trying to figure out exactly what a blog was.

I love cauliflower, whether it's raw, roasted, cooked, pureed, etc... I'll take it. Did I mention that I also like walnuts and feta cheese? So the first time I saw this recipe, I knew it was for me. After I made it, I knew I had to hold on to this recipe so I could make it again. And now that I have duplicated it with amazing results once again, I wanted to share (or "re-share", since it's already been posted on another blog) it with you guys.

Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts and Feta
from SmittenKitchen
  • 1 pound pasta (whole wheat or regular - I chose regular)
  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • White wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 4 ounces feta cheese (or ricotta salata)

1) Add the pasta to a pot of boiling water. Cook according to instructions.
2) Cut the cauliflower into small pieces, using mostly the flowerets and not the thick woody stalks.

3) Thinly slice the onion.

4) Mince the garlic.
5) In a large pan, saute the cauliflower in a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then toss in the onion and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook the cauliflower and onion until they are fork-tender. (At this point, you can choose to saute the cauliflower for as little or as much time as you like. It all depends on how you like your vegetables.)

6) Stir in the garlic and remove the pan from the burner. You can add a little splash of water if you find that the pan is still too hot for the garlic.
7) Add a splash of the vinegar and lemon juice.

8) Toss in the toasted walnuts. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
9) Add the cooked pasta to the saute pan. Add olive oil to coat the pasta and cauliflower, then toss to combine.
10) Place in a serving bowl and top with the feta cheese.
I love the salty-sweet combination of the walnuts, feta, and carmelized onions. I also liked the crunchy texture of the cauliflower. Although it was crunchier than I would have liked it to be, my roommate Kimmy preferred it that way. If you're like me, you can choose to saute the cauliflower for a bit longer. Obviously, it will softer the longer it is cooked.

Try this out for yourselves and let me (and Smitten Kitchen) know how it turns out!

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