Penne with Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic-Bacon Crumbs
Fresh cauliflower develops a wonderful sweet flavor when roasted at high heat. For this delicious pasta dish we roasted a beautiful orange cauliflower and combined it with penne, roasted tomatoes and scallions, and toasty garlic-bacon breadcrumbs. Paired with a green salad, it makes a complete meal.
- 10 ounces penne pasta
- 1 medium head cauliflower, separated and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 large plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped (2 to 3 teaspoons)
- 2/3 cup panko crumbs or fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Romano or Parmesan cheese for grating
Preheat the oven to 400°F and put a pot of salted water on to boil for the penne.
Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray and arrange the cauliflower on one and the scallions and tomatoes on the other. Drizzle the veggies with a little bit of olive oil, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the cauliflower in the oven first and roast for ten minutes. Remove and turn the pieces for even browning.
Return to the oven along with the tomato-scallion tray and roast until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife and the tomatoes and scallions begin to brown, about 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the vegetables roast, add the pasta to the boiling water and make the garlic-bacon crumbs. Cook the bacon in a large pan until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain the excess fat from the pan, but don't wipe it out.
Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and continue cooking until soft and fragrant, about 1-1/2 minutes (do not allow it to brown). Add the crumbs and cooked bacon and continue cooking for another minute, until the crumbs are very lightly toasted. Remove from the heat and add the parsley.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the roasted vegetables, drizzle with a little olive oil and and toss to combine. Add the garlic-bacon crumbs and toss again. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide the pasta between 4 plates, grate some cheese on top and serve.
Makes 4 servings
Whenever a dish includes bacon, be a little conservative with the salt when you season the various other elements of the dish. Once all the components are pulled together, you can always add a little extra, but if you add too much to start out with, the addition of bacon may be pushing the limits.
This is an original recipe created & tested by the editors of MyGourmetConnection