This pesto is probably unlike any other you have tried. Too often, cauliflower gets boiled, or slathered with cheese and broiled — here, we’ve elevated it to a much higher level. Charring it brings out a delicious nutty flavor that works perfectly with pasta.
Spaghettini with Cauliflower Pesto
1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch florets
Sea salt and ground pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup almonds, toasted
2 Tbs. capers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. spaghettini
1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Preheat a stove-top grill pan over high heat.
Season cauliflower florets with salt and pepper. Place on a grill pan and cook, turning occasionally, until well charred on all sides, 6-8 minutes. Transfer cauliflower to a food processor and add olive oil, parsley, almonds, capers and garlic. Pulse until mixture is well combined but still coarse. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghettini and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until pasta is al dente, according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss with cauliflower pesto and Parmesan. Serve at once. Serves 4-6.