Caramelised onion and zucchini pasta with roasted cauliflower

For a long time, I’ve been on the quest for a tomato-free vegetable pasta dish that is equally easy and delicious. It’s not that I have anything against tomato, more that I think there’s far more to vegetarian pasta recipes than marinara sauce – and to me that’s something worth exploring.

My pasta experiments proved successful more times than not, but they were often a little low on vegetables than I’d like. After perfecting a recipe for gluten-free zucchini fritters (more on that later), I realised that grated zucchini was the missing piece of the puzzle.

Caramelised onion and zucchini pasta with roasted cauliflower
(Serves 4)

1/2 cauliflower, florets removed from core and separated into small pieces
340g gluten-free pasta (Barilla gluten free elbows work well for this dish)
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
6-8 golden shallots, thinly sliced
3-4 medium-large zucchini, grated and excess moisture drained
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Sprinkle cauliflower with a little salt and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.

Bring a pot of water to the boil and then add the pasta. Cook according to packet instructions then drain and set aside.

Cook the shallots in a cast iron pan with a little olive oil. When the start to brown, add a teaspoon of water and stir to prolong the caramelisation. Repeat until onions are nicely brown.

Add the zucchini to the pan and cook out some of the moisture until the zucchini lightly browns. Then add vegetable stock and cook until the stock has been absorbed. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer cooked pasta to a large bowl and gently mix through the onion and zucchini. Add 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to prevent the pasta from drying out then add roasted cauliflower, nutritional yeast and pine nuts. Give one final mix and serve among four bowls.

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