roasted cauliflower and kale pasta

A couple weeks ago, my parents made a quick, surprise trip to Salt Lake to visit us. I love it when they come here. I love opening up my home to them, cooking good food, and catching up over wine--and even more so in the summer time. We spent the evening eating outside with the cool breeze, and then we all took Hank for nice walk to the gelato place across the park. It was perfect.

When they called on Saturday to tell us that they were on their way, I immediately started to think about what to make for dinner.  I had two heads of cauliflower, a bag of chopped kale in the fridge, and a ton of parsley that I needed to harvest from the garden. Here's what I came up with...

Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Pasta

1 package of spaghetti, wheat or rice pasta will be fine
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into chunks
4 loose cups of chopped kale
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 pint of cream, or milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour, you can use regular wheat flour or gluten free flour for this
Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375. Place cauliflower on a baking sheet. Mix olive oil and garlic in a small bowl and pour over the cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper (You could also mix the cauliflower and olive oil mixture in bowl before placing it on the baking sheet to ensure it's mixed evenly, but I like to use as few dishes as possible...) Roast the cauliflower for 30 minutes, or until cooked. After you see that it's tender enough to easily stick a fork into it, add the kale on top and drizzle it with a little bit of olive oil. Cook for another 5 minutes.

While the veggies are roasting, melt butter in a large sauce pan on low/med heat. Add flour and keep whisking to avoid lumps. Add cream, or milk. This will create a roux. Keep whisking, waiting for it to thicken up a little bit--about 3 minutes. Remove from heat add the cauliflower and kale to the pan and, using an emulsion mixer, blend the vegetables into the cream sauce. 

Boil water in a large pot for your pasta. Salt your water, generously. Follow the cooking  directions on the package for whichever pasta you choose.

Once the pasta is cooked, remove it from the pot and place it in a large bowl. Add as much of the cauliflower mixture as you want and toss. Use your pasta water to thin the sauce if necessary, and add the parsley. Toss again and then place in your serving dish. You can sprinkle some Parmesan and a little more parsley on top if you'd like!


PS...I had quite a bit of the sauce left over, and on its own (without pasta water added) it's pretty thick. I stuck it in the freezer, and this week I'm going to add some chicken stock to it to thin it down and see if it works for soup! Give it a try!