21 October 2011

Pasta with roast cauliflower and pumpkin

Cheap cauliflower is a boon. It's one of those vegetables (like aubergines) that isn't often had for bargains on markets. When you see some cheap snap it up, take it home and roast it. I was prompted to roast mine by this post. I did it slightly differently, but the great thing is if you cook loads you can then have it in the fridge and ready to use in different things - a little side dish, the basis of a salad (would be great with chickpeas, turnips and preserved lemons) or, as here, with pasta.

  • cauliflower
  • pumpkin
  • garlic, chilli flakes, cinnamon, olive oil
  • pasta

Roast your cauli: in florets, with butter and salt. It will need half an hour - forty-five minutes on a medium heat.

Make the sauce: fry lots of garlic in olive oil and add the pumpkin chopped small with a little twig of cinnamon. Chuck in some chilli flakes. Put a little water in there and add a lid. Allow this all to cook down for ten or fifteen minutes, using your spoon to mash the pumpkin into a sauce. You don't need loads here - it's designed to lubricate the pasta and augment the cauliflower. If your pumpkin is anaemic and lacking taste, as mine was - from our communal garden, sprinkle a little veg stock on.

When the pumpkin is well cooked and the sauce has come together de-engage the cinnamon and discard. It has done an important job here - a slight sweetness that boosts the pumpkin and bonds with the chilli. Stir into your pasta and toss in the cauliflower. Anoint with oil or bless with parmesan as you see fit.

Yes. Sheer niceness. Where the cauliflower browns against the metal of the tray you are rewarded with a wonderful sweetness, whilst the roasting in general gives the vegetable a savour not attained through boiling or steaming. It gains an almost truffle like richness which combines with the pumpkin to make a wonderful sauce.


  1. I've never tried roasting cauli, must try that.

  2. Good idea for a vegetable i often have left in fridge with little idea of what to do. I really like the mix of cinnamon and chilli. I would be tempted to add some cumin seeds for their warm nuttiness as well. It certainly makes a change from steaming the bugger, which can lead to insipid results