Monday, March 30, 2009

Campanelle and roasted vegetables...

Hmm... apparently I wasn't paying too much attention when I was planning the menu this week. Even though we just had a pasta dish last night, I guess I must have been craving pasta as tonight I also had this Campanelle with Roasted Cauliflower, Parsley and Breadcrumbs recipe on tap for dinner.

At least this didn't end up remotely close to yesterday's meal! Loaded with vegetables, I got right to work by breaking down a massive head of cauliflower, slicing a red onion into thin wedges and halving a few cloves of fresh garlic. Tossed with a couple tablespoons of oil, we scattered the vegetables out onto a large baking sheet and roasted them until the vegetables were tender and had taken on a golden hue.

As we waited on the oven to work its magic, we placed sliced fresh bread into a food processor, added a drizzle of olive oil and pulsed the duo together until the bread turned into moist coarse crumbs. You could toast the crumbs in a skillet, but since the oven was already on and fiery hot, we distributed them onto a small baking sheet and set the pan in the oven to quickly crisp them up. Once you put them in though, don't go far as they can go from the perfect color to burned in a snap.

We also took this time to bring a pot of salted water to a boil to cook the flower-shaped campanelle pasta. Before you drain the water way, don't forget that you'll need to set aside a half cup of the starchy liquid to help moisten the dish. Into the now-empty pot, the pasta is tossed back in, along with the roasted vegetables, a sprinkling of chopped parsley and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Rather than adding in a sauce, one is created when you a pour over that warm liquid we set aside - once mixed in, it quickly melts the sharp cheese and coats the pasta with a thin dressing.

Now, don't skimp on the roasting of the vegetables part - when the high heat hits those cauliflower florets, it brings out such a pleasant nuttiness that you would miss if you just steamed them. The heat also allows the cloves of garlic to mellow out, while the petals of the onion sweeten as they caramelize. Adding those crunchy toasted breadcrumbs on top finishes off this pasta dish with such a bang while the pasta rounds this meal out with hearty, stomach-warming feel. The exact pasta shape we used isn't a make or break here - if you don't have campanelle, use your favorite short pasta.


  1. that sounds absolutely delish . I eed an interesting dish to take with to a ladies night dinner . I think this is the one. I am also going to make your foccaccia bread too. Thanks for theinspiration. Donna

  2. Wow, this dish sounds fabulous. Pasta is so versatile...I love that you can eat it twice without repeating any flavor. I can't wait to try out this fabulous-looking recipe!

  3. Yum--I am making roasted cauliflower right now! I think I am going to adapt your recipe a bit to make it vegan-friendly and go with it...thanks!


  4. Oatbread - Enjoy!

    Elyse - Thanks.

    Courtney - Roasted cauliflower is definitely the way to go these days... I love it!