Monday, April 2, 2018

Creamy Sausage and Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

Hello, beautiful!

This is a pasta dish we must talk about right now.

This is my Creamy Sausage and Roasted Cauliflower Pasta and it is about to be your new favorite. It's comfort food which means it's meant to soothe your soul. We aren't apologizing for eating pasta because we love it and it's delicious. This particular dish also has plenty of vegetables packed into each bite, so this is a well-rounded meal you can feel happy serving to your whole family!

Let's talk about cauliflower quick. A few weeks ago, I had a moment where I was like, "wait a I not like cauliflower?!" Every time I made a dish with cauliflower in it, I was sooo disappointed and wished I was eating anything else. This comes after years of never having any sort of aversion to it. After thinking about it for a bit, I realized that what I actually didn't like was frozen cauliflower...I wanted cauliflower that still had a bite to it. Roasted cauliflower that had a few charred bits to it, well - THAT'S really what I wanted, and that is exactly what I'm mixing in to this dish.

To compliment the cauliflower, I am browning up a bit of sweet sausage. Something about pasta and sausage - it just makes SENSE to me. We'll then make a quick, creamy sauce, wilt some fresh spinach in it, load it up with freshly grated parmesan and chopped parsley and finish it with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. I mean, what is there NOT to love?!

In terms of the actual pasta, I used a whole wheat rotini. This was actually O Organics brand and I think it's my favorite rotini. The spirals are really tight and hold up well even after being cooked. It was the perfect shape to trap all that luscious sauce! But, really, any small cut pasta will do. You do you!

Here's what you need for Creamy Sausage and Roasted Cauliflower Pasta* (Print Recipe!)

1 cup fresh cauliflower, broken into small/medium florets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound whole wheat pasta, I used rotini
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Here's what you do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the cauliflower in the oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions, leaving it a bit al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water before straining.

In a large non-stick saute pan, add a little more olive oil then brown and crumble the sausage. I like to let this go about 10 minutes or so in order to develop really crispy pieces. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If there is a lot of grease in the bottom of the pan, remove all but a teaspoon or two. In the same pan, melt the butter over low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to create a roux. Allow the roux to cook for a minute or two before slowly whisking in the chicken broth. Bring to a slow boil and cook until just starting to thicken. Add the half and half and parmesan and stir well to combine.

Return the sausage to the sauce along with the spinach, nutmeg, oregano and basil. Stir over low heat until the spinach is wilted. Lastly, toss in the roasted cauliflower, pasta and fresh parsley. Season to taste. Serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese, parsley and red pepper flakes as desired.

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

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