Let’s just get this out in the open.
This…..is an “oops” pasta.
Created with little to no forethought and despite my best intentions for it to be something else entirely, it just kind of…happened?
Kind of like what I imagine it must be like for teen moms when they wake up one morning and realize…OOPS.
Except I am really not mad that it did.
Here’s how it went down:
After getting a bunch of swiss chard in our CSA last week I had the GENIUS idea to toss it with pasta in a cauliflower-based faux-cream sauce. I full-on patted myself on the back, rushed to the store, bought all the ingredients, got home, started chopping, and realized…I already did that.
So….now not only was I possibly contending with early-onset dementia BUT we also had nothing to eat for dinner. I mean, sure I could theoretically make the same thing twice…but it would be unprecedented. And it’s just not the food blogger way.
It felt like I was in quite the pickle until a little voice inside my head told me to engage in some reckless abandon! take the road less traveled! break out my food processor! and throw everything into it!
And then pulse, pulse, pulse, fry, fry, fry, and toss it all with some pasta, parmesan cheese, and a squirt of lemon juice.
To sum up this flavor explosion in one word: YES.
Basically, the cauliflower gets just a tad crispy from its jaunt in the oil while the greens soak up that garlic oil and offer the perfect amount of brightness. Add a pinch of pepper flakes for excitement and parmesan for happiness…..and you have got yourself a dang good meal.
“Oops” status, notwithstanding.
- 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- juice of 1 lemon
- ½ - 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ cup pasta water after cooking. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it is finely processed, about the size of grains of rice. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the swiss chard.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic to the pot and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in the cauliflower and swiss chard. Saute for 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through. Stir in the lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Toss the pasta with the cauliflower and swiss chard sauce, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Serve topped with parmigiano reggiano cheese and more freshly ground black pepper.
Loving on leafy greens:
From Around the Web:
Kale Caesar Pasta Salad from Foodiecrush
Spinach and Artichoke Linguine from How Sweet It Is
Super Cheesy Kale and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bake from Baker By Nature
Fettuccine with Caramelized Onions and Swiss Chard from A Better Happier St. Sebastian
Kale and Sunflower Seed Pesto Pasta from Annie’s Eats