I wasn’t sure how this dish would go over with Paul since it includes both cauliflower and olives (two ingredients he’s not a huge fan of), and on top of that, I decided to use a brand of gluten-free brown rice pasta that I’d never tried before. However, the recipe looked so good that I wanted to give it a try anyway.
I’m really glad I did! The finished product exceeded my expectations. Paul ate around some of the chopped olives and capers, but consumed everything else — and we both had second helpings.
Paul really liked the brown rice pasta (as did I) and said I should use it again soon, so I’ll definitely be purchasing more for a future dish. (I used Tinkyada brown rice elbow pasta, but you could use regular pasta if you prefer.)
I recently obtained a small container of herbs that I keep on the balcony (thanks for the gift, Mom!), and this was the first time I put the parsley to use. I must admit, it was nice being able to go outside and grab exactly as much as I wanted, rather than purchasing more than I needed from the grocery store. (You can see a small portion of DC skyline in the background).
In Italian, puttanesca means “in the style of a prostitute,” or more literally, “whore’s pasta.” I would like to note that I decided to make this dish before I researched the meaning of the term.
Cauliflower Pasta Puttanesca
(Adapted from Real Simple)
3/4 pound short gluten-free or regular pasta
2-3 tablespoons oil (I used coconut, but olive would also work)
1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into very small florets
kosher salt and black pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (I chopped the tomatoes into small chunks)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped (I purchased a jar of kalamata olives that were already pitted, which made the chopping much easier)
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
grated Parmesan, for serving
Cook the pasta according to package directions. After it finishes cooking, drain in a colander and rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, 1/2 teaspoon 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 until the cauliflower is tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. (I let mine simmer for about 20 minutes and it was fine.)
Spoon the sauce over individual servings of pasta. Serve topped with parsley and Parmesan.