1 pound penne rigate
1 cup walnut pieces
About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 head of cauliflower, florets sectioned and cut into ½-inch slices
Coarse black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 to 1/3 cup grated Romano cheese, plus some to pass at the table
Zest of 1 orange
Heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta. When it boils, salt the water and add the pasta, cooking al dente (with a bite to it).
Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast for 5 minutes to develop their flavor.
While the veggies cook, grind half the nuts with the parsley, rosemary, cheese, and orange zest in a food processor. Stream in about 1/3 cup of the EVOO and process until a paste forms, then season with salt, and pepper.
Drain the pasta. Add the walnut pesto to the veggies. Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat evenly, then toss in the remaining whole toasted nuts.
This meal was pretty good, but I think it could have been better. I'm pretty sure I used too much salt, and too much rosemary. I loaded it up with cheese 1)for the protein, and 2) to mask the flavor a little. It helped, but not much. Anyway, I really like the cauliflower and the walnuts, I just am not too crazy about the pesto. I didn't change anything.