What could be simpler than this luxurious, but very easy dish between Christmas and New Year's? Nothing. Nothing, I say. And for anyone who doesn't love cauliflower, this is the dish for you.
Cauliflower and Olive Penne
½ pound penne pasta
1 cup mixed olives, pitted and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ small yellow onion, diced
1 small head cauliflower broken into small florets (about 2 cups raw)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more to taste)
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt to taste
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
¼ cup roasted almonds, chopped
Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425⁰F. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower and onion with the oregano, red pepper flakes, some salt, and about a tablespoon of olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until brown bits develop, stirring once, about 15 minutes. Add the olives and garlic, stir and spread, and roast another 5 minutes until olives and garlic are fragrant.
When the pasta is cooked, drain all but a ½ cup of the cooking water. Stir in an ounce of Parmesan cheese, the lime juice, and salt to taste. Add the cauliflower mixture and stir thoroughly to combine. Serve in individual bowls topped with equal portions of the chopped almonds and more grated Parmesan on the side.