Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Pesto Pasta

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Preparation: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 



-1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2 teaspoons smoked paprika
-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
-1 pinch kosher salt and black pepper
-3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
-1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
-1 pound pasta, any variety
-1 1/2 cups fresh basil
-1 cups baby arugula, spinach, or a mix
-1 jalapeno, seeded (if desired)
-1/4 cup toasted nuts, such as: pine nuts, walnuts or pistachios
-1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese or Nutritional yeast
-1/4-1/3 cup canned full fat coconut milk (or cream/milk of choice) 


Preheat oven to 425° F. On a baking sheet, combine the cauliflower, 1/4 cup olive oil, paprika, chili flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss well to evenly coat. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until tender. Add the 2 cloves garlic and the lemon zest. Roast another 10 minutes, until charred. 

Meanwhile, make the pesto. In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, arugula/spinach, the jalapeño, 1-2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, nuts, parmesan, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt. Pulse until a sauce forms, adding 1-2 tablespoons water if needed to thin. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining, remove 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain and add the pasta right back into the hot pot. 

To the pasta, add the pesto and coconut milk, tossing to combine. Thin the pasta, as desired, with the reserved pasta cooking water.   

Divide the pasta among bowls, then serve each bowl with a side of cauliflower. Topped with herbs and greens.  

Original Recipe  

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