April 19, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower, Snap Pea, and Avocado Pasta with a Walnut Basil Pesto

Here is Seattle, we've skipped Spring and jumped right into Summer. Yesterday was 88ºF and today it is predicted to be the same. I either need to invest in an air conditioner or a pool, cause I'm not sure I'll survive another one of these unbearably hot summers with our small window fan and kiddie pool.

The kitchen renovation is currently at a stop while we finish the bathroom remodel. We decided that for our Brent's sanity it probably best to tackle one major project at a time. In the bathroom, we've got a toilet installed, and a sink on its way. A faucet that needs to be returned cause I changed my mind yet again. It is pretty exciting, though, cause it's been two years since we started and I think the end is in sight. Lessons learned - home renovations are time-consuming and stressful. Which is why I have decided to hire someone to paint the trim in our house. And why I should probably hire someone to build our kitchen island. And why I should probably just take it down a notch with the whole DIY business.

Have I mentioned that I'm now on snapchat? Now that I have come to terms with the sound of my own voice I am really digging it. Snapchat is fun and silly and messy and I love it. If you want to follow me my username is heatheralanna.

Last month, early one Sunday morning, I left the house on my way to the gym and I ran into Macklemore. He was walking towards me carrying his daughter in a baby backpack, eating a muffin, drinking a coffee. At first, I had no idea it was him, so as we passed on the street I gave him a friendly nod and a 'hey, what's up', not even realizing until I hit the next block that indeed that was Macklemore. After a little investigation, I have learned that he does, in fact, live a few blocks from my house. Which is awesome, but also annoying, cause now every time I leave my house I second guess my outfit, my hair, do I have baby puke on my shoulder????? cause today might be the day that I run into Macklemore again.

I just signed up for HBO now so I can binge watch the final season of Girls. Last night I watched the first 5 episodes, and I feel like this season is the best one yet. Speaking of binge-watching tv, are you guys pumped for Gilmore Girls? I cannot wait.

For those of us who live in Seattle, and have leaped right into summer, we can refer to this pasta as a farewell to spring, but for those of you who live in other parts of the world where the snow has finally melted and the flowers are starting to pop up through the soil, I present you with a fresh spring-y salad of roasted cauliflower, snap peas, and avocado. Do you ever get on kick where you make something so delicious you want to eat it for every meal until you get completely sick of it? Welcome to my life, and to this pasta. Currently, I can't get enough, and all I want to eat is this pasta. The pesto is fragrant and earthy. Rich and creamy. The cauliflower is salty, crunchy, caramelized and delicious. The snap peas fresh and crunchy. This whole combination is just a really intense explosion of flavors. Yesterday for lunch, I was snacking on a deconstructed version of this meal, dipping the cauliflower and snap peas into the pesto, and I was just as pleased with the results.

serves 4
prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 50 minutes

1 head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
4 - 5 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

4 cups basil, chopped
1 cup walnuts
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp lemon juice or half a lemon
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil

4 servings of spaghetti noodles
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 avocado, sliced
Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Place the chopped cauliflower onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, enough to lightly coat. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes. Place into the oven and bake for 40 minutes, tossing the cauliflower half-way through baking. You want the cauliflower to be golden to dark brown in color, and a little crispy.

While the cauliflower is cooking, make the pesto. Add the basil, walnuts, salt, lemon juice, and Parmesan to a food processor. Pulse until you have a crumbly paste. With the processor still running, drizzle in the olive oil. Pour the pesto into a jar and set to the side.

Heat a large pot of water to boil. Add 4 servings of spaghetti noodles and cook until al dente.

Once the pasta is almost cooked, steam the snap peas until slightly cooked. Bright green and still a bit crunchy. Slice into small pieces.

Drain the pasta. Toss with half of the pesto to start, and then continue to add more to your liking. Plate the pasta and top with the cauliflower, snap peas, and sliced avocado.  Add additional Parmesan cheese as desired.


  1. Lovely pasta idea! The roasted cauliflower looks so appetizing.

  2. This looks incredible! I've not added avocado to a pasta before, usually it's reserved for toast or in a salad - so it might be worth giving a go I think!

  3. The walnut pesto is an awesome addition! This sounds SO good!

  4. I just can't get over this pasta. Or the fact that MACKLEMORE IS YOUR NEIGHBOR!!!!!!

  5. Could not be more jealous of 88° weather. And of this pesto pasta.

  6. This is the epitome of what I love about a beautiful bowl of pasta. I am really, really in love with this dish. Also, I think my favorite GIRLS episode this season was the one about Marnie seeing her old boyfriend again {blanking on his name} anyways, I'm not sure if you got that far yet, but it's fantastic. xx!

  7. I totally hear you on the travails of home renovations! We almost embarked on a full home redo and then we decided to break it up into smaller projects which was soooo fortunate! Best of luck on getting everything done, it sure will feel great when you do. I also can't wait to try this recipe! I love cauliflower but get bored with just roasting it and I love the flavors in this recipe - many thanks and so jealous you ran into Macklemore - love him!!!

  8. This looks really delicious! I am allergic to walnuts, do you think the dish would get the same heartiness if I substitute pine nuts?

  9. This looks really tasty. Absolutely love pesto and every variation of it. The char on cauliflower really transforms that vegetable. I'm going to try this recipe out.

  10. MACKLEMORE in your neighborhood. That is crazy. And try living in 95-110 degrees! THAT is summer weather! Anyways, I love this roasted cauliflower snap pea twist on pasta! The roasted cauliflower looks absolutely gorgeous!

  11. This pasta looks incredible! And I LOLed at the Macklemore thing. Hilarious. If he has a kid I'm sure he'd understand a few flecks of barf.