Monday, July 16, 2012

Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce and Cauliflower

Pasta cravings must be satisfied in my book and using a whole wheat pasta makes it feasible when trying really hard to eat healthy and so tonight's dinner totally satisfied my pasta craving.  I used whole wheat rotini and made a sauce using a roasted red pepper as the base.  I also oven roasted cauliflower to add to the nutritional aspect which was tossed in with the pasta and sauce.

Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce and Cauliflower
Makes 3 servings

For the sauce:
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon slivered almonds, toasted
1 small garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable broth

For the pasta:
7 ounces Whole Grain Pasta (I used rotini)
1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1 1/2 tablespoon capers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional for garnish)
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional for garnish)

For the sauce:
In the bowl of a food processor or heavy-duty blender, combine roasted red pepper, almonds, garlic, cilantro, Parmesan cheese and lime juice.  Puree together until just combined.  With motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and puree until the sauce is smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the sauce to a small saucepan set over medium-low heat.  Whisk in vegetable broth and heat the sauce.  Keep warm on low.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.   Place on a baking sheet.  Roast in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes shaking baking sheet halfway through roast tine. 

Cook the whole grain pasta according to package instructions.  Drain.

Once the pasta and cauliflower are done, combine the pasta and about 3/4 of the cauliflower in the pasta pot.  Pour in roasted red pepper sauce and toss to coat.  Stir in the capers.

Set the pot over medium heat and re-heat to serving temperature.  Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve, topping each portion with the remaining cauliflower, minced cilantro and grated cheese (if using).

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