Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, and Walnut Pesto

I love pasta and am always trying to figure out ways to make it more of a one-dish meal with the addition of seasonal vegetables. Roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts give this pasta substance and character (as well as a healthy boost). When choosing brussel sprouts, look for those that are smaller in size and firm when squeezed. This was my first shot at a walnut pesto - I am always looking for different pasta sauces that aren't tomato-based, just to mix things up, and we loved it. I like using chunks of parmesan and adding it to the food processor when making pesto rather than adding grated parmesan cheese - it gives the pesto more texture (a tip from my sister). If you end up with extra pesto, you can store it in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for at least a month.

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, and Walnut Pesto
Serves 4

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

1 small head cauliflower (1 1/2 - 2 lbs), stem and core removed and cut into small florets
1 lb. brussel sprouts, cut into quarters (or halves for very small ones)
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. black pepper
12 oz. whole-wheat linguine

1 c. walnuts
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, cut into small chunks
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 c. pasta water, reserved

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the cauliflower and brussel sprouts into a roasting pan or baking sheet. Add 1 T. olive oil and toss to coat. Add 1 t. kosher salt and 1/4 t. pepper and toss again. Roast for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the walnuts and parmesan cheese wedges in a food processor. Turn on the processor and after a few seconds, start adding the olive oil steadily. Stop when the walnuts and parmesan are in small pieces but not too finely ground (a few more seconds).

Start a pot of boiling water and cook the pasta until al dente, reserving 1/2 c. of the pasta water.

Remove the vegetables from the oven when they are ready. In a large bowl, add the pasta and 1/2 of the pesto as well as about 1/4 c. of the pasta water and stir well to combine. Add the vegetables and as much additional pesto as you'd like (we used it all) and more pasta water to help the pesto combine with the pasta and vegetables.

Enjoy! This also was delicious reheated the next day.


  1. This sounds healthy, refreshing, and delicious!

  2. Thanks Michelle - it was really good. Congrats on your engagement by the way, how exciting!