What’s for dinner: Pasta With Roasted Cauliflower, Parsley and Breadcrumbs

Click on the image to go to the recipe on the Everyday Food site.

You know it’s bad when the best thing you can think of to say about a meal is that at least the cleanup was minimal if you improvise — I lined the two baking sheets with foil and all I had to wash was a pasta pot.

Cost of ingredients: $7.36. I bought the parsley and bread for this dish, and already had garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Substitutions: Whole wheat bread instead of white — hey, I’m getting healthy fiber where I can! (Does it still count as “healthy fiber” when you’ve pulsed it into breadcrumbs?)

As easy as they said? Well, yes and no. It takes an incredibly long time to heat an oven to 475 degrees — or maybe ours is just being balky. Nonetheless, I put the vegetables in earlier and let them roast while the oven heated up. Safe for the breadcrumbs. It’s not like they required reaching a safe temperature like meats. Breadcrumbs crispy? Veggies soft and toasty? Done — before the oven hit 475, even.

How’d THAT go over? On a scale of 1 to 10, flavor 5 … texture 4. Even with the full half-cup of reserved pasta water and an additional glog of olive oil, my bowl was really dry; I supplemented my wine with a glass of iced tea to counteract a parched mouth. While I can see using roasted cauliflower in one of those “sneak vegetables into your kids’ dinners!” recipes, it’s hardly a star on its own, even with onion and copious garlic. Out of desperation I tried a packet of this lemon-juice-substitute powder that showed up at work last week; at least it added a flavor.

Would I make it again? As prescribed, no way. Maybe if I added additional, heartier ingredients — sun-dried tomatoes would be nice, maybe a basil cream sauce?

WHAT SAM WORE: 04-01-10
The shirt: Cotton polo by Abercrombie & Fitch, from Buffalo Exchange.
The pants: Boot-cut jeans by 7 for All Mankind, from Nordstrom.
The shoes: Puma trainers from the outlet store at Cabazon, Calif.
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