I did make it work, and it was delicious. (I didn’t tell them about the leaves, the core and the stalks.) Now it’s time to tackle the laundry.
Pasta with Cauliflower Ragu
1 medium cauliflower
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped small
1½ tsp chopped garlic
1½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
a little more olive oil
1 lb. penne pasta*
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup coarse, fresh bread crumbs, sautéed in 1 T olive oil until golden**
1 tsp Italian seasoning***
Cut the cauliflower in half. Remove the leaves and cut out the core. Reserve the leaves and the core. Cut cauliflower into small florets, reserving the stalks. Chop up the core, the leaves and the stalks. Heat the ¼ cup olive oil in a large pan. Add the garlic, chopped onion, and the chopped core, leaves and stalks. Season with sea salt and cook over medium heat for about three minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about twenty minutes. Add florets, crushed red pepper flakes and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, then turn down heat to a medium simmer and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for twenty to twenty-five minutes longer. In the meantime, heat water for pasta. Add Kosher salt to water. Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve some of the water as you drain the pasta. When the cauliflower ragu is done, add some extra olive oil and season to taste with sea salt. Remove from heat. Add pasta and about ½ cup of the reserved pasta water to the ragu. Stir (over low heat) to coat the pasta. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Top with bread crumbs and serve.
*I cooked whole grain pasta for myself and white pasta for everybody else.
**I put a couple of slices of whole grain bread (don't tell) in the toaster and then crumbled them up. I heated 1 T olive oil in a skillet, added the bread crumbs and tossed them around until they were crispy.
***The original recipe called for minced fresh rosemary. I didn’t have any or I would have used it instead of the dried Italian seasoning.