Pasta with Cauliflower and Red Wine

By queenie_nyc
October 2, 2010
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Author Notes: This is a pasta I make with the cauliflower I rescue from the roasting pan. It's extremely satisfying, and has a gorgeous color from the red wine. I live alone, so I created a single-serving recipe, but it's a really easy one to size up. - queenie_nycqueenie_nyc

Food52 Review: I could not wait to make queenie_nyc’s Pasta with Cauliflower and Red Wine. I imagined the cauliflower, pan-roasted until tender, bathed until tipsy in rich red wine, then spiced up with red pepper flakes and complemented with nutty Parmesan. When I finally made it, it surpassed my expectations. Easy to put together, it was a warming, delicious, and comforting dish. The cauliflower was perfectly cooked, tender crisp and not mushy. I have eaten “drunken” pasta before, that is, pasta cooked in red wine, but appreciated the restrained hand in queenie_nyc’s recipe. By cooking the pasta ahead of time and adding it to the wine-bathed cauliflower, the characteristic slightly bitter note from the wine complemented, rather than overpowered the final dish. In fact, I think the next time I feel like “drunken” pasta, I will turn to this recipe. - gingerrootThe Editors

Serves: one

  • 1/4 pound short pasta, such as penne rigate or cavatappi
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • Generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • Finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt
  1. In boiling, salted water, cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside; do not rinse. (You can also cook the pasta while you make the sauce.)
  2. Set a large skillet (I used my 12-incher) over high heat. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan, turn the heat to medium-high, and add the onions. Saute the onions for a few minutes until soft and fragrant, but not browned. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes more, until you can smell the garlic and it has turned golden.
  3. Add the cauliflower to the pan and saute for 4-6 minutes, until it has acquired a bit of color and begun to release its water. Sprinkle the mixture with a pinch of salt and deglaze the pan with the red wine. Add the pepper flakes and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the red wine is reduced to a syrupy glaze. Add the pasta to the skillet and cook for a minute or two, mixing it with the sauce and letting everything get to know each other.
  4. Transfer the pasta and sauce to a shallow bowl, top with the cheese, taste for seasoning, and eat!

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