Roasting adds depth to Fettuccine with Cauliflower, Andouille Sausage and Olives

by Marion on May 6, 2015

Roasting cauliflower mellows its flavor and adds a bit of color to this hearty, delicious pasta. Roasted andouille sausage, olives and shallots also star. Recipe below.

Fettuccine with Roasted Cauliflower, Andouille Sausage and Olives

It’s still not warm yet. And, although the weather folks are threatening above-average temperatures in the nearish future, I am sorry, but now it’s still just cold. When I went out this morning, I was wearing my little down jacket—little, and just a jacket, but still down.

And chez nous, we are in the midst of a huge, thrilling, scary, big project that we are not quite ready to talk about yet, which, at the end of every day, leaves us totally jangled and weary and out of time and prone to chills. So something simple and roasted and comforting is very welcome right now.

Those of you who’ve been with us for some time know how much we love cauliflower. And sausages. And olives. Sunday night, having been pulled through several knotholes backwards, we wanted them all, plus some pasta and tangy lemon juice. Mmm hmm.

Roasting the cauliflower, shallots and olives mellowed their respective flavors and allowed the andouille sausage to share its meaty goodness. It was also a great excuse to turn on the oven and warm the kitchen.

Fettuccine with Cauliflower, Andouille Sausage and Olives
Serves 3

3 cups little cauliflower florets (see Kitchen Notes)
olive oil
salt
2 shallots, peeled and halved
1 cup pitted green olives, halved
6 ounces andouille sausage, cut into coins (see Kitchen Notes)
4 tablespoons lemon juice (plus more, if needed)
about 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

8 ounces uncooked fettuccine

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Toss the cauliflower florets with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and spread out on the sheet. Roast cauliflower in the middle of the oven until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, for about 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, on another baking sheet, scatter the halved green olives, shallot halves and andouille sausage coins. Toss them in olive oil. Start a pot of salted water on the stove for the pasta.

After the cauliflower has been roasting for 15 minutes or so, slide in the baking sheet with andouille sausage, shallots and olives. The next time you stir the cauliflower, turn the sausages and stir the olives and shallots. The olives will be shrinking like mad. That’s okay.

Start cooking the fettuccine. When the fettuccine is ready, drain it, reserving half a cup of cooking water, and set aside in a colander.

Start a big, deep skillet on the stove with olive oil over medium flame. When the cauliflower is done roasting, take a look at the sausage. If it is not nicely browned, then put it in the skillet and brown it a little more—should just take a minute. Remove from pan to a small bowl along with the shallots. Put the olives in the pan and quickly sauté. They will pop and hop around in a very cute fashion. Also, they will shrink a bit more. At this point, they will be very tiny nubbins compared to their original size.

Add the sausage and shallots to the skillet. Then take the cauliflower out of the oven and add it to the skillet. Add the cooked fettuccine all at once and toss and stir everything together, adding a little more olive oil and at least 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add the lemon juice and a little salt. Stir and toss it all together. Grate about 1/4 cup of Parmesan over all and taste. You may want to brighten it up a bit more with additional lemon juice and salt—go easy on the salt. If it seems dry, add a little more pasta water.

Plate and serve.  That’s it.

Kitchen Notes

Leftover cauliflower? If you buy the usual head of cauliflower, you won’t use it all for this dish. Save the rest of it for something else, like cauliflower soup or puréed cauliflower. Use it. It’s delicious and good for you.

Andouille sausage. Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of getting andouille sausage at the Butcher & Larder from Rob Levitt, formerly the chef of the late, lamented mado. But this weekend, Rob was out of andouille, yet we had a hankering for more. So we used Al Fresco smoked chicken andouille sausage, which we bought at a supermarket in the northwest suburbs, but which is made in Massachusetts. Commercial brands are maybe not as super as butcher shop sausages, but they can be pretty good, and we were happy with this brand. It pushed all the right comfort buttons.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

[email protected] Riffs May 6, 2015 at 8:27 am

Glad to see you’ve surmounted your technical difficulties and are back! And with a honey of a recipe — this is seriously good stuff. Love andouille, but don’t think I’ve ever paired it with cauliflower before. But I will. :-)

Dr. M May 6, 2015 at 10:30 pm

We roast cauliflower routinely for our 1 year old. This will give me something to do with the rest of it instead of just using it as a side dish or in this mix with pickled golden raisins and nuts (which you guys would probably like, I’ll find the recipe and send it). In fact I have a head of cauliflower in the fridge right now so I’ll be trying this soon.

I hope your big project is a cookbook! 😉

Anita May 7, 2015 at 3:27 pm

I promise to give it a shot, even though I generally dislike olives in food. Put a bowl of them in front of me, and I’ll keep popping them until they’re gone/someone stops me, but I’ll almost always pick around them in a dish. Well, except in a salad with feta. Then they’re ok too. (Wow, I didn’t think I was that picky)

Anita May 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm

p.s. If the project WERE a cookbook, I would buy one for a whole lot of people. Just saying.

Marion May 7, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Thanks, John! It just was so confusing and scary. Glad to be back from wandering in the emptier reaches of cyberspace.

Dr. M, please do send that recipe. It sounds wonderful. I would eat it right now, in fact.

I hope you give it a shot, Anita. The olives become so, so tiny – it’s worth it just to watch that happen.

And, no, the current project is not a cookbook, BUT a cookbook is in the theoretical stage. Nuf sed.

Dr. M May 7, 2015 at 10:31 pm
Marion May 7, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Thank you!!!! Oh, this looks great.

Kat May 20, 2015 at 5:31 pm

This was really good. Like print out and add to the recipe box immediately good. My husband who doesn’t eat olives and my toddler who doesn’t eat noodles with any sort of flavoring on them both approved. This is love!

Marion May 20, 2015 at 10:01 pm

HURRAH!!!!!!!

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