Well, thank God its over! What's over, you ask? My two week stint as a vegetarian. Quite a stupid endeavor I'll have to admit. Not to say that going vegetarian is stupid, its just totally dumb to do it for two weeks. I was convinced by my husband and a documentary that he made me watch that animal protein was bad for you. That is probably correct, but you know what? I don't care. I like meat and cheese and eggs and I'm proud of it! So I tried to give up meat and eggs (not cheese, I just could not give up cheese) for two weeks, with the end goal of, "if I feel better, I might just stick with it." Well, newsflash, two weeks is probably not enough, and lets be honest the end goal did not involve becoming a veg for the rest of my life. So what did I learn? Well, I learned a couple of new veggie friendly recipes and I'm going to cut back on my meat consumption. That's about it. Not exactly worth giving up meat for two weeks, but this is a very tasty recipe so some good did come of the attempt.
roasted red pepper and cauliflower pasta
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
2 large shallots, sliced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio works great)
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained (in water, or if in oil, drain and rinse them in cold water)
chopped fresh basil
pasta, cooked and drained, reserve some pasta water (really any kind you like, I used a lemon-pepper pappardelle)
Preheat oven to 400. On a sheet pan toss the cauliflower, minced garlic, 4 tbsp. EVOO and salt & pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, stirring & flipping at the halfway point. The cauliflower should be lightly browned and toasty when done.
Cook pasta according to package directions, reserve some of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan or deep saute pan heat 1 tbsp. EVOO and add shallots. Saute the shallots until they begin turning golden. Add tomato paste and let brown a little, then add white wine and scrape up the brown bits. Puree the roasted red peppers in a blender or food processor and add to the shallot-wine mixture. Bring to a light simmer.
Add to the saucepan the roasted cauliflower and bits of minced garlic from the sheet pan. Stir to combine. Add the pasta and toss over medium-low heat, add some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick or not adhering to the pasta.