Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pan-roasted cauliflower pasta

A better way to eat cauliflower: healthy and easy pan-roasted cauliflower pasta with spicy sausage, arugula and olives.

pan roasted cauliflower pasta with sausage and arugula

I think I may have mentioned a few hundred times that I'm a pasta addict. In fact, I always say that if you really wanted to punish me, you wouldn't have to send me to prison -- just make me give up carbs.

Yet I don't do your standard American spaghetti and meatballs. I like my pasta to be interesting. Like when it includes healthy, yummy ingredients like butternut squash, pumpkin, olives, beets, broccoli and even sardines.

And sometimes bacon. (Who am I kidding? Often bacon.)

No bacon in this cauliflower pasta but there is spicy Italian sausage, another one of my pasta add-in faves. The spiciness pairs really well with the pan-roasted flavor of the cauliflower and the peppery arugula.

Yep, you pan-roast the cauliflower in this stove-top meal. It comes out tender with just the right amount of cruciferous crunchiness left. And who couldn't benefit from a better way to eat lots of cauliflower than drowning it in cheese sauce or picking it off a crudite platter, am I right?

pan roasted cauliflower pasta with sausage and arugula

Oh wait... it's also an easy recipe! This dinner can be on your table in less than 30 minutes.

I highly recommend using sharp and tangy green olives or even purply kalamata olives -- mild, canned black or green olives just won't give the dish that extra pop that it needs.

Are you a pasta traditionalist? Or are you more of an avant-garde pastaholic like I am? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

pan roasted cauliflower pasta with sausage and arugula

Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

(adapted from Country Living magazine)

1 pound dried pasta (I used rigatoni)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 cups cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces
8 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup diced carrots
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup halved or sliced tangy green olives
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While pasta cooks, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook for about 10 minutes or until just tender, turning occasionally to brown all sides. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, sausage, carrot and onion to the pan and saute until sausage is cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the wine and cauliflower, stirring well.

Combine the cauliflower sauce, pasta, arugula, olives and cheese in a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
-- print recipe --


  1. This one looks good! Would likely sub mild for hot sausage, family preference. Thoughts? Cindy C.

    1. Absolutely, Cindy -- it's all about personal preference!