Sometimes it's hard to make a quick and easy meal while also getting in some nutrients. Garlicky cauliflower pasta doesn't sacrifice nutrition for speed. When I cook for my family, I don't try to think about every single possible nutrient that we need. I just want to make sure we get in a vegetable and have full tummies.
We have a whole day to get in all our nutrients. Some days, we don't have time to make sure we get a protein in, or eat enough colorful foods, or have balanced meals for every meal. Balance is a marathon, not something I need at every single meal.
Garlicky cauliflower pasta gets food on the table in less than 30 minutes. It tastes great, and only requires a few ingredients!
Ingredients you'll need
I like cauliflower with this recipe because it takes on the flavors of the other ingredients and it gets really soft. It's similar colored to the pasta, so sometimes kids won't even notice it. Although, my kid definitely notices it 99% of the time.
The cauliflower can be substituted with other vegetables too. You can substitute broccoli and make the recipe the exact same way. Or use zucchini or squash and just saute it in the pan with the garlic in stead of boiling it.
We're not making a sauce for the garlicky cauliflower pasta, so don't be afraid to have a heavy hand with the oil. Start with a ¼ cup but add more as you need it. Depending on the size of the cauliflower head, you may need extra.
If you don't have enough oil you may notice it seems a little dry. Just add more as you go along. Start with the ¼ cup and see how far it gets you. You can also add a little pasta water when you transfer the pasta in to the pan which will emulsify the oil and make it a little creamier.
It's called garlicky for a reason! I use the whole head of garlic. I don't mince it. I just crush the garlic and brown it on both sides. I love the way whole garlic tastes. Some people might tel you take the garlic out, but garlic is so healthy for you it's worth having one or two cloves, despite the imminent bad breath.
Salt, parsley, and parmesan are not technically necessary, but I highly recommend. Salt to taste and add parmesan at the end. Stir fresh parsley in with the pasta or add it separately to each plate at the end. Crushed black pepper and red pepper flakes work well with this dish as well. To make it a little more kid friendly, I left it out of the cooking process.
How to Make Garlicky Cauliflower Pasta
- Start by chopping the cauliflower into florets and rinse them well. Get all the dirt and junk out and then bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the cauliflower for about 10 minutes or until it's soft enough to pierce with a knife or fork. Strain the cauliflower and set to the side.
- Boil more water and add a pound of pasta. Cook until al dente.
- In a large pan bring a ¼ cup of olive oil to medium heat. Add in the crushed garlic cloves until browned. Then stir in the cauliflower and crush it with a wooden spoon until its in little pieces. Stir will and continue sauteing until the pasta is ready.
- Transfer the pasta to the pan with a ½ cup of pasta water. Stir vigorously until everything is combined. Add salt and parsley, and mix
- Serve with Parmesan cheese!
What do I Serve with Garlicky Cauliflower Pasta
I love to serve pasta with a protein when possible. I usually have chicken cutlets in the fridge, which go perfectly with those meal. I love keeping chicken cutlets in the fridge for this exact reason. I also will mix in a can of tuna fish with the pasta. If your family will eat fish, that is another great option.
Just stir the tune in with the cauliflower about 2 minutes before you transfer the spaghetti. Drain the tuna and try to use tuna in olive oil instead of tuna in water.
Quick and easy meals
It can be so hard to get food on the table some nights. Our son eats a lot of leftovers but some nights my wife and I won't eat until 9 o'clock at night. I admit that if we lived in a city, I'd be ordering pizza a lot more. But we don't have a pizzeria that delivers, unless you count Papa Johns...
Cooking doesn't always have to be some convoluted and complex recipe that takes hours. Although I do love myself an all day cooking event like my not-so-secret bolognese or barbacoa tacos. Quick and easy recipes are great for during the weekdays when we don't have a lot of time.
If you're looking for more quick recipes try some of these!
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Garlicky Cauliflower Pasta
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 1 head garlic cloves crushed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup parmesan
- fresh chopped parsley
- Chop cauliflower into florets and rinse well. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil cauliflower until it is soft and easily breakable, about 10 minutes.
- Bring another pot of water to a boil or use the same water to boil your spaghetti, just add salt.
- While the spaghetti is boiling, bring a large pan to medium heat. Add ¼ cup of olive oil. Once it is shimmering add the crushed garlic cloves and stir until slightly browned. Add the cauliflower in and break it up into little pieces with a wooden spoon. Add salt and ¼ cup of pasta water. Strain and add spaghetti once it is al dente.
- Stir until the cauliflower is well mixed in the spaghetti and then remove from heat and add cheese. Serve with more parmesan and fresh chopped parsley.