Cauliflower Penne Puttanesca

Cauliflower Puttanesca

While reading the February issue of Real Simple, I stumbled upon this recipe in the "Weeknight Meals" section. The ease of this recipe, and it's quick cook time, really appealed to me. The addition of the cauliflower as the main ingredient also intrigued me. Cauliflower is an ingredient that I almost never buy, not because I don't like it, but because I always think of as part of a raw vegetable platter rather than cooking with it. As we were eating this meal, both Joel and I realized that we should really try to cook with cauliflower more often! I was nervous that the capers, along with the olives, would make this dish too salty, but the whole dish came together beautifully and the flavors were perfect!

3/4 pound Penne Pasta
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 small head Cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) Whole Peeled Tomatoes
1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons Capers, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped 
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden, 4-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, olives, capers, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon, until the cauliflower is tender, 8-10 more minutes. Toss the pasta with the sauce. Serve topped with the parsley and parmesan.