Give summer pasta a healthy upgrade with cauliflower
Hooray — summer has finally arrived! It took its sweet time coming. But now the heat is on, and I’m always looking for a light summer meal – one that doesn’t take forever to make and my kids will actually eat.
Enter the newest Weight Watcher’s cookbook, “Family Meals,” a great collection of simple, tasty, kid-friendly recipes that don’t break the caloric budget. This recipe’s secret ingredient is one of my favorite things: roasted cauliflower. (Once you’ve had it this way, you’ll never fix it another way again). The result is a pasta dish that’s full of flavor but uses about half the pasta you normally would.
In a word? Genius. In two? So delicious. Penne with Roasted Cauliflower
Serves six 2 ounces cooked and crumbled bacon (or pancetta, which is what the original recipe calls for), about 1/3 cup
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cauliflower florets (or cut your own large head into chunks) 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounce whole wheat penne
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano, undrained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped
8 ounces fresh mozzarella (optional)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional) Preheat the oven to 425 F. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt and pepper until lightly coated. Spread the mixture evenly on a large baking sheet. Roast until slightly browned on top, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook penne according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Add the cauliflower, tomatoes, parsley and capers. Add salt and pepper to taste. (If you’re using the balsamic vinegar and cheese, toss it in now). Gently toss until mixed well. Divide mixture evenly among six large, shallow bowls.
Jill Cluff is a sometimes librarian who is married to one giant and mom to two boys. She loves all things book- and food-related – often at the same time.