Cacio e Pepe with Roasted Cauliflower – Recipe! Image 1
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Cacio e Pepe with Roasted Cauliflower – Recipe!

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Cacio e Pepe is a classic Italian dish originating in Rome, meaning cheese and pepper.  The simplicity of this pasta makes it so flavorful without a lot of fuss.  The cheese and pepper, along with a little pasta water, create the sauce which lightly coats the noodles – it’s amazing.  The mixture of spice and cheese is a nice combination in your mouth and in my recipe I add another level of texture and taste.

Adding roasted cauliflower to this dish makes it even more interesting and flavorful, not to mention healthful.  Also, I use brown rice pasta to make this meal gluten-free but, you can use any variety of pasta. I enjoy the texture of rice pastas – chewy with a bit of grainy goodness. Just make sure you under cook it slightly, so it doesn’t get gummy.

Cacio e Pepe with Roasted Cauliflower is great to make during the week because there are only a handful ingredients, which are mostly in your pantry.  Don’t substitute parmesan for pecorino – this dish is definitely about the cheese.

Cacio e Pepe with Roasted Cauliflower – Recipe! Image 2

Ingredients

1 lb. brown rice pasta

2 cups grated pecorino romano cheese

1 shallot, minced

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets

1 tsp black pepper

olive oil

pasta water

(Serves 4)

To Prepare:

1.  Preheat oven to 425.  Roast cauliflower on a sheet pan coated with olive oil for 20 minutes.  Boil pasta and cook until al dente about 8 minutes.  Save 1 cup of pasta water before draining pasta.

Cacio e Pepe with Roasted Cauliflower – Recipe! Image 3

2.  Add shallot with a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add pasta water and pecorino romano cheese to pan and stir. Continue cooking over medium heat for 2 minutes, until cheese has melted and a creamy sauce begins to form.

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3.  Add pepper and cooked pasta, toss to combine.  Then, add roasted cauliflower and toss again.  Spoon pasta into bowls, serve. Enjoy!

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