These pasta recipes are a healthy and vegetable-filled cure for your winter blues. You will find that, although slightly more time-consuming, the roast cauliflower carbonara is a delicious and nutritious adaptation of a traditional egg and cream based carbonara sauce. Served alongside a glass of mulled wine, it’s the perfect dish for a cold winter evening spent in pyjamas on the couch. While that might seem terribly indulgent, you can console yourself by remembering the nourishing presence of cauliflower in place of cream.
Recipes, photography and styling by Elisabeth Chieng of The Gluten Free Table.
For a speedier weeknight pasta fix, you can’t go by my spaghetti with vine roast tomatoes. The walnut and sun-dried tomato pesto can be made ahead of time, and thrown into the mix when you haven’t time to spare. The roast tomatoes, tenderly attached to the vine, give the pasta a Mediterranean twist and whisper the truth that summer will be back before we know it.
Spaghetti with vine roasted tomatoes and pesto
1 cup walnuts
2 trays vine ripened cherry tomatoes, still on the vine
2 tbsp plus 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
350g gluten free spaghetti
1/2 cup (packed) basil leaves
Preheat oven to 180 then toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly golden 8–10 minutes.
Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet then season with salt. Roast, until tomatoes are blistered and have released some of their liquid, 5–7 minutes. Let cool.
Pulse garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup parmesan in a food processor until finely ground. Add walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes, then, with motor running, stream in 1/3 cup oil; process just until combined.
Season with salt and pepper then set aside. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a good amount of salt. Boil the pasta in salted water according to the pack directions. Use a mug and scoop out roughly a cup of the pasta water.
Drain the pasta and return it to the warm pot, adding 1/2 the pesto and a splash of pasta cooking liquid. Toss until sauce coats pasta, adding additional water to loosen the pasta if required. Add basil and tomatoes (on vine).
Divide among bowls then top with more parmesan, basil leaves and serve.
Roast cauliflower carbonara
1 cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Small bunch thyme, leaves picked
1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
350g of gluten free penne
1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional), plus extra to serve
Salt and pepper, to season
For the pasta sauce, sauté the minced garlic and onion along with the oil in a non-stick frying pan over low heat. Cook until the onion and garlic are fragrant and translucent, but not browned.
Bring the cauliflower to a boil in a large pot and cook until tender. Drain once cooked, reserving 2 cups of cooking liquid. Transfer the cauliflower to a high powered blender and add one cup of cooking liquid, the sautéed onion and garlic and grated pecorino. Blend until smooth, adding additional cooking liquid depending on how thin you’d like the sauce.
Meanwhile, for the roast cauliflower heat oven to 180C fan forced and toss the cauliflower with the oil, garlic, thyme and seasoning. Spread out on a large baking tray. Roast until it is starting to be caramelised and cooked through, roughly 25 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a good amount of salt. Boil the pasta in salted water according to the pack directions. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of cooking liquid, and return it to the warm pot.
Add the carbonara sauce to the pasta, adding some of the pasta liquid if the sauce is too thick. Toss until the pasta is evenly coated.
Take the baking tray out of the oven and add the cauliflower and hazelnuts to the pasta.Check the seasoning and serve with a little extra parmesan.
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 roughly grated nutmeg
2 cups water
Roughly grated rind of an orange
1 apple, roughly chopped
750ml red wine, merlot works best
Heat cloves, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, water, orange rind and apple in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add red wine and simmer for another 5 minutes before removing from heat. Strain and divide among glasses, serve immediately.