Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cauliflower pesto pasta

Blake is in the midst of law school finals. Law school, as you might imagine, is not a whole lot of fun. Certainly not for him but also not for me. While he's holed up studying, I have no one to entertain me. And I liked to be entertained. I don't do bored well. I have engaged the dog at length in conversations. She's good company.

I won't leave Blake alone for too long though. The exciting thing about living with me (or possibly annoying) is that I insist on fun. Fun all the time. I pack our schedules tight with activities. Remember that time we tried to learn to play the mandolin? That kind of fun. During finals I have to dial the fun back a little but yesterday after his first test, we went out for a break. A beverage, french fry, burrito kind of break. That's the great thing about food right? A little french fry can go a long way in improving your day. We also took a break earlier in the week to eat pizza, put on Christmas music, and decorate the tree. Pizza...see a theme in how we have fun here?

Food can also bring comfort during stressful study weeks. My comfort food of choice? Pasta. Did you guess it? This pasta is from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook and I love it. We make it frequently. The cauliflower gives it a little more texture and heartiness than your ordinary pesto. The sun dried tomatoes and capers are my favorite additions. A little sweet and a little salty. I think this pasta is super satisfying. It comes together in 30 minutes or less. Perfect for busy weeks when time for fun is already sparse.

Cauliflower pesto pasta
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, serves 6

16 ounces of linguine
1 small head of cauliflower
5 sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil), rough chopped
2 tablespoons of capers
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup parmesan plus more for serving
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Save a 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining.

In a food processor or blender, pulse the cauliflower until its about the size of couscous. Pour the crumbled cauliflower into a large bowl.

 Add the sundried tomatoes, capers, garlic, parmesan, and almonds to the processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarse in texture. Add to the bowl with the cauliflower.

Add pasta to the bowl with the pesto and cauliflower. Add olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and pasta water. Mix together until all the pasta is coated. Serve with a extra parmesan.

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