A simple but favorite pasta: slice cauliflower into thin florets, roast with olive oil and salt, toss with pasta and top with a generous amount of parmesan cheese.
I went round and round in circles trying to decide which recipe should be the first recipe I posted on this brand new blog. I scoured cookbooks and Pinterest for ideas. I made lists of my family's favorite recipes, foods I craved, ingredient combinations and Instant Pot possibilities. I had lots of ideas, but zero progress.
The first week of January passed by. Then the second. This morning, the third week of January began and after dropping the kids off at school I sat down and stared at the still blank pages of my blog. I was overthinking it. As is my habit, I was making life harder than it needed to be. I didn't need to post the most incredible, unique and mind-blowing recipe ever to hit the internet. I just needed something simple and good.
When I opened my refrigerator and saw a head of cauliflower looking back at me, I knew immediately what I was going to make. Slice the cauliflower into thin florets, roast with olive oil and salt, toss with pasta and top with a generous amount of parmesan cheese. Maybe fancy it up with some parsley and a few fried capers on top.
Done and done.
Cauliflower pasta is one of those "recipes" I forget about and then when I finally make it, I wonder why I don't make it more often. It's so comforting and satisfying and did I mention, easy, easy, easy?
I put "recipe" in quotes because there's hardly enough instructions to write down. Basically, just roast the cauliflower and toss it with pasta. The trick is how you roast the cauliflower. Slice the florets very thinly. Coat generously with olive oil.
And don't stir the cauliflower at all, just let it roast until it's so crispy and browned it's almost burnt.
I don't particularly love cauliflower, except when it's roasted like this. I can eat an entire pan of crispy, browned cauliflower bits myself unless my 8 year old beats me to it.
I've found that the best way to serve my kids roasted cauliflower is setting the cooled baking sheet on the table. Who doesn't love eating with their fingers? My kids are more likely to eat veggies if they can pick them off a sheet tray instead of having them piled on their plate.
Finally getting this first recipe posted was a good reminder of progress over perfection. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the simple question what's for dinner? Meal-planning paralysis is something I think a lot of us struggle with. Meal planning is supposed to make our lives easier, so why does it feel so hard?
May I gently suggest that you're overthinking it?
You don't have to cook new and amazing meals every week. Especially when you have little kids, variety is overrated. Falling back on the same tried-and-true, simple meals again and again is not only okay, I highly recommend it. It's probably the single best advice I could give anyone about meal planning. It's the advice I give myself when I'm staring at a blank sheet of paper that's supposed to be my grocery list and meal plan for the week. Don't overthink it. Keep it simple.
Roasted cauliflower pasta should be at the top of my weekly meal plan more often. It's simple, veggie-forward and reliably good. What more could you want from a recipe?
More Favorite Pasta Recipes
- Instant Pot Bowtie Pasta
- Pasta with Pork and Ricotta Meatballs
- Shrimp Linguine with Arugula Pesto
- My Favorite Vegetable Lasagna