Give sum­mer pasta a healthy up­grade with cau­li­flower

Cecil Whig - - ACCENT - By J ill Cluf f

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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JILL CLUFF

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