Want something light but love your pasta? You’re in good company. This Deliciously Rustic No-Sauce Vegetable Pasta with roast cauliflower, zucchini and spinach is a family favourite here. It has oodles of flavour with no heavy sauce. Perfect for a light family dinner.
Wednesdays and Fridays the Elf goes to a community house play group for the morning. The teachers are wonderful and help us teach her not to run with scissors and such. She is also learning to interact with other kids her own age; being an only child we are ever watching for signs of Mariah Carey. So far we have only had a handful of diva moments and I attribute that to the playgroup as much as us. The fact that she’s had only a few, not that she has them.
On these mornings I get to spend one-on-one time with the Dane.
Scout is one and we adopted her seven months ago. We are her fourth home through no fault I can see in her nature. Yes, she does chew things but she is a puppy and all our puppies have done that. And yes she is a nervous dog but after four homes I can understand her need for us to establish trust with her. Scout is also a miracle worker, healing our hearts after we lost our beautiful boy Ruben, and Willow not long before him last year, after 15 years together. Neither the husband nor I were really ready for another canine journey but when we saw her and heard her story, the deed was done. While my hearts still cries for my lost loves, Scout has brought joy to our house and for that I am grateful to her beautiful spirit. This one is brave I think, determined to be happy even though she is scared.
On Wednesdays and Fridays we spend longer at the forest exploring the trees and the many interesting smells, Scout not me, and then hit the kitchen. Scout is an excellent cleaner-uperer. Today we made our Deliciously Rustic No-Sauce Vegetable Pasta.
I have been making this dish for such a long time and it works like a dream every time. I have swapped out vegetables depending on what is in the fridge; added kale, mushrooms, finely sliced carrot. As long as the roast cauliflower, garlic and red wine vinegar remain this dish appears unflappable. Even the Husband has cooked it. Not to say he can’t cook, he just doesn’t cook. This he cooks.
Small pieces of caramelised roasted cauliflower, finely chopped sautéed vegetables and garlic, sea salt and acidic red wine vinegar come together in perfect harmony in this deliciously rustic no-sauce vegetable pasta. So much quicker than most sauce laden pasta dishes, this one is light, flavourful and quick. With finely chopped vegetables, it’s also a great way to sneak the offending produce in to the kids’ diet.
I am all about the sneaking. Enjoy.
Deliciously Rustic No-Sauce Pasta
- 300 grams dried spaghetti or fettucini I use a vegan semolina spaghetti
- 300 grams cauliflower medium to finely chopped
- 1 zucchini cut in to 1/2 cm cubes (approximately 1/4 inch cubes)
- 1 cup baby spinach
- handful Italian parsley finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove or 2 regular, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil plus more to roast cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt plus more to season
- cracked pepper to season
- juice of 1/2 lemon optional
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
- Lay chopped cauliflower out on a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season well with salt.
- Place in hot oven and roast for 20 minutes or until the edge are becoming brown and crispy.
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil and cook pasta as per packet instructions.
- When the cauliflower is cooked and caramelised, remove from the oven.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add chopped zucchini and cook for 2 minutes until slightly soft.
- Add cauliflower and stir.
- Add red wine vinegar.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Add baby spinach and fresh parsley.
- After straining the pasta add it to the sauté pan. Using tongs, toss the pasta to coat in "sauce"
- Serve with another smattering of fresh parsley, cracked pepper and a squeeze of lemon (optional)