Campanelle Pasta with Cauliflower


, , ,

Campanelle Pasta with CauliflowerAtlanta is experiencing freezing rain and low temperatures…its not big news for most parts of the country…winter weather in winter!!!!! But for Atlanta, this is just not normal…though I do have to admit …every year it seems like winter is extending its time in this part of the country by a few more weeks!! Anyway, as a result schools are closed and I have been stuck home with kids who have excess energy to burn since they can’t go outside to run and play!!! There is also the drama that comes along with every meal..”this again, why can’t you make something different???” Its been hard enough making sure that a hot, home cooked meal is on the table every day when you’re trying to keep the kids from eating junk, making sure they have something to do other than watch tv constantly and close the door everytime a friend of theirs waltzes in , so that the house is warm!!! I’m ranting now aren’t I??? Oops, lets get back to the topic at hand….I was lucky enough to have done my grocery shopping before the roads iced over but that also presents a problem…too many choices!!! Bored with rice, roti, dosa etc., I decided to make pasta.

I didn’t want to use a tomato based sauce …quite frankly I’m bored of it!!! I also wanted it to be very simple…yes, it’s a holiday and I have the time but quite honestly I wasn’t in the mood to cook an elaborate dish…I had TV shows to catch up on, reading to finish, not to mention the list of chores that had piled up….you know going thru the kids closet and removing the clothes that don’t fit, cleaning out the basement shelves etc.……the ones that I’ve been putting off for weeks!!!! So out came one of my favorite veggies, also my go to veggie…cauliflower. I love the taste of roasted cauliflower….it somehow becomes more luscious and sweeter. I decided to go simple with just garlic, lime zest, lime juice and mint. I also added pine nuts for their buttery texture and crunch. I tossed it all with the ear shaped pasta called Campanelle. Interesting fact….boxers often develop what is known as Cauliflower ears after being boxed in the ears repeatedly. The edges curl and end up looking like the veggie. Not the image you want when you’re eating but it just popped into my mind and lets face it I’m rambling today!!!! The pasta, however, has a ruffled edge and looked more beautiful and appetizing to eat!!!!

Campanelle Pasta with Cauliflower

It was delicious pasta..light with floral notes from the lime zest and a punch from it too. The roasted cauliflower was luscious but had some crunchy bits too. Mint made it fresh and added an herbaceous note that elevated this simple dish. Raisins added sweetness and pine nuts gave it more crunch. I left the garlic and cauliflower on the stove for a couple more minutes than I anticipated…a series of “ mommy “ calls do that!!! I was worried that I had burnt it but the low temperature had instead roasted it resulting in an addictive mixture that had both V and I fighting over those bits!!!!

Campanelle Pasta with Cauliflower

2 cups Cauliflower florets, cut small

3-4 cloves Garlic, minced

1 tsp. Red Chilli Flakes

2 tbsp. Olive Oil

3-4 Tbsp. Golden Raisins

3-4 Tbsp. Pine nuts, lightly toasted

3-4 tbsp. Mint, cut in a chiffonade

Juice and Zest of a Lime

Salt to taste

½ ib. uncooked Campanelle pasta (any short pasta will work)

First, get the water for the pasta on the stove. When it starts boiling, add salt and cook the pasta. (Now in my house it goes pasta al dente by a little bit as that’s how they like it but al dente basically means its cooked but still ahs a chew when you bite in)

Sauté the garlic in the olive oil along with the red pepper flakes. (I like spicy food, but if you do not use half the amount or even less)

Add the cauliflower and sauté over low heat until the garlic is golden brown and the cauliflower is soft but still holds its shape. (I leave it in a single layer without stirring which gives it a blistered look reminiscent of oven-roasted cauliflower)

Add the lime juice, salt, lime zest, raisins and pine nuts. Sauté another 2-3 minutes.

Toss in the cooked, drained pasta and mix well. (When draining the pasta, I don’t do a good job…there’s always some cooking liquid left and this provides a sauce for an otherwise dry pasta dish)

Add the mint and serve.

Campanelle Pasta with Cauliflower

This is off to “Cooking with Herbs- Winter Herbs” at Lavender and Lovage  and “Pasta Please – Veggie Pasta” at Knead Whine.


Pomegranate- Pine Nut Pilaf with Cauliflower-Pineapple Curry


, , , ,

Pomegranate-Pine Nut Rice with Cauliflower- Pineapple Curry

This year, we are not home for Christmas so we had our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. I wanted to prepare something special ,having not made any effort the last few months. Pomegranates are in season now….all the shops have abundant supplies of these ruby red beauties and I have been searching for a way to use them in almost everything I make. I came across a picture sometime back ….a picture of a pilaf with pine nuts and pomegranates and I figured now was my chance to make this. V is in charge of peeling them and removing the seeds……..…poor thing, I don’t even offer to help….its a tedious job!!!! I had pomegranates and pine nuts but with no recipe I winged it and I have to say I loved the result!!! The pomegranates seeds were like tart little jewels in the white blanket of rice along with buttery toasted little nuggets of pinenuts……..all coming together to form a delicious morsel.

Now all it needed was some similarly delicious accompaniment …….so what does one do when one does not have many veggies, in fact only two in the refrigerator and some fruit………well, one becomes creative and prays that the results are delicious!!! I love using pineapple in savory curries…..somehow it adds a tangy sweetness that cannot be replaced by any other. I have always used them in a coconut based curry but I wanted to try something new………. so inspired by navratan korma I decided to make a cashew based gravy and pair cauliflower, cranberries and pineapple with it. As I said, I was winging it and praying for good results!!! Now… I am writing about it you have probably guessed that the results were favorable ……….in fact it was more than favorable, it was delicious!!!! Cauliflower, like tofu, seems to absorb the sauce it is in while cranberries and pineapple provide a sweet and tart counterpart to the spicy sauce while cashews add a buttery delicate flavor and also thicken the gravy.

For an impromptu meal, this was one of my favorites and something I will definitely be making again and again.

Pomegranate - Pine Nut Pilaf


1 ½ cups Basmati Rice

¾ cup Pomegranate seeds

¼ cup Pine Nuts

2 tbsp. Oil

4-5 Cardamom Pods

4-5 Cloves

1 Cinnamon Stick

1 Star Anise

2-3 Allspice berries

Salt to taste

¼ Tsp. Black Pepper

Wash the rice and soak in water for 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly before cooking.

Heat the oil and toast the whole spices.

Sauté the rice till toasted…….the rice kernels will turn slightly opaque.

Add the salt and pepper. Add 3 cups of water, turn the heat down to medium low and cover partially.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts till golden brown. Do not take your eyes off them, they toast really fast due to the high fat content.

Cover and cook the last 5 minutes……..the whole spices will have risen to the top and there will small holes on the surface of the rice.

Remove from heat and sit for another 5 minutes.

Using a fork, fluff the rice making sure the rice kernels do not break.

Toss with the pomegranate seeds and pine nuts.

Cauliflower - Pineapple Curry

Cauliflower – Pineapple Curry

2 cups Cauliflower Florets

1 cup fresh Pineapple, cubed

2 medium Red Onions, roughly chopped

¾ cup canned whole Tomatoes

¼ cup Cashew Nuts

2-3 cloves Garlic

1 Green Chili

Salt to taste

1 ½ tsp. Garam Masala

1 tsp. Cayenne

½ tsp. Turmeric

¼ cup Yogurt (thick, preferably Greek)

2 tbsp. Oil

2 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

2-3 tbsp. Cranberries

In a blender or food processor, process or blend the onions, tomatoes, cashew nuts, garlic and green chili.

Add the yogurt and blend at a low speed.

Heat the oil, lower the heat and add the paste.

Add the garam masala, turmeric, chili powder and salt.

Sauté, adding a little water if necessary.

When the paste is halfway cooked, add the cranberries and cauliflower. Add a little more water and cover.

When the cauliflower is almost cooked, add the pineapple and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and serve.

This is off to “Festive and Christmas Vegetables” at A2K- A Seasonal Veg Table  and “The Spice Trail” at Bangers and Mash. Its also off to “Shop Local” at  Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.








I am also sending this to “Bookmarked Recipes” at Tinned Tomatoes and “Kids Delights: Holiday Specials” at My Cooking Journey.


bookmarked recipes new logo


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34 other followers