Whole Wheat Penne with Roasted Cauliflower and Herbs

by Jennifer

This was a very child-friendly (or cauliflower-wary) dish;  my kids cleaned their plates.

Serves 4 adults.

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • 3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 TBS chopped parsley
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh tarragon
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb. whole wheat penne
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

On a large rimmed baking sheet toss together the cauliflower and 2 TBS oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Add the garlic, stir, and bake for another 5 minutes, then remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.  Drain, give a quick shake, then pour pasta back into the pot.

Stir in the remaining TBS of oil, the herbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and lemon juice, then stir in the cauliflower and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan for sprinkling on top.


Mediterranean Penne Pasta, Green Salad

By Jennifer

Mediterranean Penne Pasta, Green Salad

Serves 3 – 4 adults, depending on appetite.

  • 13.25 oz whole wheat penne
  • 15.5 oz. can butter beans, rinsed and drained (you can use cannellini beans, too)
  • 1 large or 2-3 small leeks, cut length-wise, then chopped, then rinsed in a strainer
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half length-wise
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained well, chopped
  • good handful of parsley, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 TBS olive oil, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. queso fresco or ricotta salata cheese, crumbled

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil;  cook penne until al dente according to package directions.


Slice leeks lengthwise, then chop

Then rinse leeks well in a fine-meshed sieve

Meanwhile, heat 2 TBS in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and saute the leeks for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic;  when fragrant, add the beans, olives, tomatoes, parsley, and black pepper.  Saute for a few minutes while the pasta finishes cooking.

Sauteeing everything

Reserve a little cooking water before draining the pasta.  Put the pasta back into the pot along with the bean mixture, 2 TBS olive oil and a little pasta cooking water to moisten.  Add the crumbled cheese, tossing to combine.

Serve with a simple green salad dressed with good balsamic vinegar.

Mediterranean Penne Pasta, Green Salad