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1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
Salt and pepper
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large pinch dried chile flakes (or to taste)
½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
2 tbsp. capers, drained
1 cup diced bacon, cooked till very crispy, drained.
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1 lb. hot, cooked pasta (choose a smaller shape, similar in size to the cauliflower)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss the cauliflower florets with some olive oil to lightly coat them all. Sprinkle florets with some salt and pepper. Place florets onto a sheet pan covered with foil. Roast florets for about 7 minutes, then remove from oven. Stir them around a bit and return to oven. Roast the cauliflower for another 7-8 minutes or until they have begun to brown and are crisp-tender. Remove florets from oven and set aside.
Prepare pasta sauce while cauliflower florets are in the oven. Heat ½ cup of good olive oil in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it is translucent and just beginning to brown, about 6 or 7 minutes. Next, add the dried thyme, the smoked paprika, the minced garlic and the chile flakes. Add one teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Stir and cook another minute or two. Add the roasted peppers, capers and half the bacon to the sauce. Stir to blend evenly. Add the cauliflower florets to the sauce so they heat up fully and become coated with the sauce.
Add the hot cooked pasta to a large serving bowl. Toss in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, half the goat cheese, and half the parsley. Toss quickly to evenly distribute, then add half the sauce. Toss again to distribute these ingredients. Now pour the remaining sauce over the top of the pasta, sprinkle the remaining goat cheese, bacon and parsley over the top of the pasta and serve immediately. Makes about 6 generous servings.
Pair with Carneros Chardonnay.