Pasta Puttanesca with Roasted Cauliflower

Pasta Puttanesca aka pasta in the style of the ladies of the night aka slut’s spaghetti is on the menu today.

Pasta Puttanesca with Roasted Cauliflower

If you are unfamiliar with this dish, you may be scratching your head at all this whore talk so early on a Tuesday morning, but let me explain.  Pasta Puttanesca is a classic Italian dish where pasta (spaghetti pictured above) is dressed in a sauce made of tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers and red chile flakes.  Rumor has it that the ladies of the night would simmer this sauce, and let the aroma waft out of their open windows with the intent of luring men into their establishment for the evening.  Others say that this sauce was popular amongst these ladies, because all the ingredients can be stored in the pantry.  No need to go to the market to get fresh ingredients between clients!

Whores aside, let’s talk about this version of Pasta Puttanesca.  There are many aspects of the traditional dish that are very enticing.  Pasta Puttanesca is easy (no pun intended), quick-to-prepare, and can be made with a handful of pantry staples.  Here, I’ve added freshness and substance by way of Roasted Cauliflower, freshly chopped parsley and lemon wedges to finish.  Cauliflower gets wonderfully nutty when roasted, and this flavor pairs nicely with the olives, capers and tomatoes.  Parsley and lemon add fresh hits of green and acid for balance.  Each bite is incredibly satisfying.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Pasta with Kabocha Parmesan Sauce

Kabocha and Parmesan Pasta On a recent trip to Williams-Sonoma, I noticed a display of pasta related products including several jars of Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce.  My initial reaction was:  Ummmm… Yum!!!  With every intention to create my own version of this sauce, I immediately headed to Whole Foods in search of pumpkins suitable for cooking.  To my surprise, before I even entered Whole Foods, I was greeted by a gorgeous, autumnal-hued display of pumpkins and squash.  I couldn’t help but smile at the wide array of varying shapes, colors and textures.  My interest in using a mere pumpkin for this sauce quickly faded once I saw the selection in front of me.  With a little help from the Whole Foods produce staff, I decided on the kabocha squash.  Sweeter than a butternut squash, the kabocha has a creamy texture and an amazing yellow-orange color on the inside.  If you can’t find a kabocha squash in your grocery store or farmer’s market, simply use a similar sized pumpkin or butternut squash.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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