Cauliflower and Chickpea Pasta

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Last night was a cook-what's-in-the-fridge kind of night, and I ended up making a pasta dish with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas. The dish was inspired by Nate Appleman's method for preparing cauliflower from A16: Food + Wine, and the results were pretty tasty. However, if I were to make it again, I might add some chopped, fresh parsley for a brightness of flavor and a touch of color. Here's a rough recipe for the dish:

Cauliflower and Chickpea Pasta 

1 head cauliflower
1/4 c. olive oil (divided)
1 medium red onion
1/4 c. capers
1/2 t. red chile flakes
1 15 oz. can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1/2 lb. orecchiette
Kosher salt
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Core the cauliflower and separate into florets; cut smaller florets in half and quarter largest florets. In a bowl, toss well with 1/8 c. olive oil and season with approximately 1 teaspoon Kosker salt. Spread out on baking sheet and roast for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, set a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
3. Rinse the capers and pat dry. Thinly slice the red onion. Place the remaining 1/8 c. olive oil in a small pot over medium heat add the onion, capers and red chile flakes to the pan and stir. Cook for 5 minutes or until onions have softened.
4. Generously salt pasta water and cook pasta according to package instructions. Before draining, reserve 1/3 c. pasta water.
5. Return pasta to pot, and add toss with onion-caper mixture, chickpeas, and pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and additional red chili flakes to taste.
6. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving.



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