The combination of cauliflower, kalamata olives, lemon and parsley was full of flavor. There was so much deliciousness with the veggies that the pasta was merely a minor supporting role in the dish. Which in my view is what pasta should be.
This is my attempt to recreate that lovely meal. The family liked it - one or two of them picked out the cauliflower - but really you can't expect miracles.
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets, cut the florets in half if they're big.
2-4 cloves of garlic, skins on
2 medium onions, quartered
A sprinkling of red pepper flakes
1 cup of toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup of black kalamata olives
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
1 box of your favorite pasta - I used orecchietti
Heat the oven to 425F
Place the cauliflower, onions and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Pour over a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, the red pepper flakes and a handful of chopped parsley. Mix so that everything is lightly coated in the olive oil.
Place in the oven and roast for approx 40-50 minutes. Stir around from time to time so that the veggies brown evenly.
Meanwhile toast the pine nuts and set aside.
In a large serving bowl place a large handful of chopped parsley, a good grinding of salt and pepper, a healthy gulg of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of butter and the juice and zest of two lemons.
Chop the olives and add them to the serving bowl.
Cook the pasta. Drain and pour into the serving bowl. Add the cooked cauliflower, onions and pine nuts and toss together.
Check the seasonings and add more salt and pepper, lemon juice and parsley if required.