Pasta with Cauliflower and Hazelnuts
This is one of those meals that comes together quickly. It was born out of what was in the pantry and refrigerator at the time and has since made its way into the rotation. While often slightly altered depending on the ingredients on hand, this is my favorite version.
Boil some water as you pick out your favorite pasta. I usually prefer a smaller noodle like the fusilli shown here, penne, shells (conchiglie), or bowties (farfalle). This recipe uses half a pound of pasta, but I usually make the entire package (usually a pound) and put aside the other half for another meal.
While the water is coming up to a boil (because, water does take longer to boil when we watch it, right?), cut up a head of cauliflower into bite-sized pieces, peel and mince 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chop a couple of handfuls of hazelnuts, and finely chop some parsley (about half a cup chopped).
Heat a large pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat and add the cauliflower. Leave it alone a few minutes to brown and stir occasionally to cook evenly.
When the water comes to a boil, add salt and the pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve some of the pasta water.
Add the minced garlic, a couple of pinches of chili flakes, and a couple of pinches of salt to the cauliflower and cook for a few more minutes.
Toast the hazelnuts either in a skillet, the oven, or push the cauliflower over to one side of the pan, and toast the hazelnuts on the other side. When the hazelnuts are toasted to your liking, stir into the cauliflower along with the cooked pasta and a couple of splashes of the reserved pasta water. Add in the chopped parsley and any additional salt and/or pepper to taste.