I have Spring fever! Who else is with me? If you live in a warm area, I’m super jealous because Spring isn’t showing any signs of arriving where I live.
The stores are in full swing with their pastel and floral lines, even including bathing suites (but let’s not go there right now) and it’s got me anxious to get my Spring fashion groove on. However, I can’t exactly wear a light weight mint colored blouse when it’s 21 degrees F. Dang, that’s cold.
I’m also craving Spring-y foods, like fresh herbs, fruits, and veggies (which are hard to come by in CT at this time of the year). I got excited when I saw some gorgeous basil at the grocery store the other day. I snapped it up and grabbed some fresh lemons too (because lemons are a sure sign of Spring time, ignoring that they probably came from somewhere warm).
This pasta, man… You’d think all pasta is the same, but it’s so not. I’ve been obsessed with this collezione pasta ever since using it to make pastitsio for my family at Christmas time. The sauce gets into all the nooks and crannies (or in this case the herbed ricotta cheese does that).
This is not just a dish of pasta. It’s cheese and bacon and roasted cauliflower and awesome. Now that I’m talking about it, I realize this dish isn’t as Springtime fresh as I previously theorized. In fact, it’s basically a full on heavy Winter comfort food. Uh, with some citrus and herbs? Okay, I blew this one, but it sure is a delicious failure at light Spring cuisine.
In fact, it’s sort of like mac and cheese meets a white pizza with bacon. I actually had a vegetarian pasta dish in mind when I was throwing all of these ingredients together. Somehow at the last minute I found myself adding bacon. Less vegetarian, more salty bacony goodness this time.
Roasted Cauliflower and Pasta Recipe
(Makes about 4 servings)
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1/8 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 12 ounces of pasta (I used collezione pasta)
- sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, grated
- In a medium skillet, over Medium heat, cook the bacon.
- Once the bacon is done cooking, move it to a paper towel.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Cut the cauliflower into bite size florets, wash them and pat them dry.
- Place the cauliflower florets onto a baking sheet.
- Pour the oil over the florets.
- Sprinkle the 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper on top and toss everything together so that the florets are well coated.
- Arrange the cauliflower into a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and tender.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, chives, basil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and minced garlic. Set it aside.
- When the cauliflower is almost done cooking, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. The goal here is to time it so your pasta and your cauliflower are done at the same time.
- Drain the cooked pasta and pour it in a big bowl.
- Immediately add in the ricotta cheese mixture and stir all of the ingredients together.
- Gently stir in the roasted cauliflower.
- Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.
- Chop the cooked bacon and sprinkle about one slice worth of pieces onto each serving.
Source: Tina’s Chic Corner
Here are some other Spring time treats. (Even though this one really wasn’t.)