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On Ryan’s Plate: A Surprising Pair

September 14, 2011

Hi friends! Hope you’ve had a good Tuesday! Tuesdays and Thursdays are late for me—I usually don’t get home from class until about 7:15.  Because Ryan has Tuesday and Thursday afternoons/evenings open, we’re going to tentatively start a new blog segment: Tuesdays (and/or Thursdays) with Ryan! He’ll be blogging, hopefully somewhat regularly, about his adventures as a husband in the kitchen! And don’t worry—I’ve already told him to take it easy on the Batman jokes.  Easier said that done though, right big guy?

Without further ado…here’s the chef!

*     *     *

Everyone can think of pairs that shouldn’t go together but do.

Like salt and chocolate:

Or those mismatched, racially diverse cops who can’t see eye to eye until they bond while solving the big case:

Or that 51 year old dude from Lost and that 16 year old “country singer”/inappropriate tweeter who just got married (those two will go the distance):

Doug Anthony Hutchison Marries 16-Year-Old Country Singer

But how about this crazy duo?

Penne Rigate

I’ve never thought of putting cauliflower and pasta together. Honestly, I’ve always considered cauliflower a little boring, even for a vegetable. If all the foods were together at a party – pizza doing flips off the diving board, peanut butter and chocolate making out in the corner – cauliflower would be the food who stays at home memorizing the peroidic table because the knowledge might come in handy some day. Then, cauliflower would go to bed at 8:30, because his sinus medication makes him so drowsy.

But when I found a recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Pasta in Cooking Light, it seemed inspired. I thought, maybe I can give cauliflower some sex appeal by pairing it with some alluring, enticing penne, kind of like surrounding Alan Greenspan with the cast of Gossip Girl. The recipe is simple but creative – cauliflower roasted with butter, oil, shallots, and garlic, blending with penne, and sprinkled with parmesan.

Plus, this recipe comes with a surprise cameo: Spanish olives!

And just like the high school football star and the artsy, mousy ugly duckling who turns into a swan when she lets her hair down, these mismatched ingredients ended up being a perfect match.

Cauliflower’s not so nerdy anymore:




Looks like cauliflower is the life of the party.

*     *      *

Hello again! What Ryan didn’t say about this meal was that it was so, SO good.  The cauliflower got all crispy and delicious with the shallots, and the olives added a perfect amount of salty bite.  Seriously—I would never have thought to pair these ingredients together, but this was a major keeper of a recipe.

That’s it from our end—hope you have a good night!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2011 3:27 am

    When you get such a reception from your husband then you know a recipe is a keeper!

  2. September 14, 2011 3:47 am

    I’m sitting here trying to figure out who that guy played in Lost!? Why doesn’t he look familiar?
    This is the 2nd cauliflower + pasta recipe I’ve seen today. I’m convinced I now need to combine the two. Great job Ryan!

    • September 14, 2011 12:59 pm

      We didn’t watch Lost, but I think he had *very* bit part…and now, of course, he’s better known for something else 🙂

  3. September 14, 2011 6:18 am

    What a fun post!

    And you would have loved the chocolate/sea salt stash I received and blogged about today.

    I love caramel + chocolate…just not with salt 🙂

  4. September 14, 2011 12:22 pm

    I love cauliflower but can seem to convince Jason he should love it as much as I do. This dish looks incredible.

  5. September 14, 2011 1:36 pm

    Great segment!!! I wish my husband would post! Im a huge fan of veggies in my pasta- esp cauliflower and broccoli! Great way to add bulk and nutrients without tons of calories

  6. Cynthia permalink
    September 14, 2011 2:06 pm

    Great post, Ryan! That dish look yummy. I loooove cauliflower and pasta together. Growing up in an italian family my nana always paired pasta and veggies from her garden. Gnocchi or cavatelli and broccoli, penne and asparagus, my favorite will always be linguine and cauliflower….great, now I’m hungry 🙂

  7. September 14, 2011 2:52 pm

    Looks delicious! I’m normally not a cauliflower person either but once in a while it hits the spot

  8. September 14, 2011 4:36 pm

    Nice job, Ryan. Cauliflower is something I don’t use enough!

  9. Patti permalink
    September 14, 2011 6:42 pm

    Loved the recipe pictures and the post!

  10. September 15, 2011 1:23 am

    Love the new segment, Ryan. I’ll have to share it with Nick!

  11. September 15, 2011 6:29 pm

    Great post! I truly believe that chocolate and salt is one of those epic combinations. I wouldn’t have said the same about cauliflower and pasta until I tried a cauliflower and mac and cheese recipe. My version has extra veggies ( ), but you can leave them out and still have creamy perfect mac and cheese with cauliflower snuck right in. I’ve never tried mixing the roasted cauliflower with the pasta itself though. Looks like I’ll have to add this to our dinner rotation!

  12. September 16, 2011 3:04 pm

    My mother-in-law makes an awesome penne-cauliflower dish. One of my fave recipes of hers, and I too was surprised at how well those things went together.

  13. September 16, 2011 8:11 pm

    Damn you Horace Godspeed!

    And how did I not know about Collision Course? I will have to add that to my netflix. RIP Mr. Miyagi

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