Before you turn your nose up on this one, keep on reading. It doesn’t sound like its going to work, but it is actually really good and quite easy to make over the campfire itself, at home in the oven, or even on the grill.
The original recipe comes from the January 2013 issue of Women’s Day and you can find it here.
If you’ve been reading my recipes so far, you know that I don’t do a great job of following the recipe exactly, and this one is no exception so read carefully for my modifications. As always, I’ve cut the recipe in half during preperation since only two of us are eating and we don’t want leftovers. All of the quantities listed are the full amounts.
Start off by cooking 12 oz of your favorite short pasta. Shells or rotini would work best. We use gluten free pasta when we cook because Michelle is celiac. There is some debate about adding oil to your cooking water. Generally you SHOULD NOT do it but this recipe is an exception. When you pour the pasta out of the pan, the oil floating on the top of the water will coat the pasta which will help keep it from sticking together while it waits to be added to the grill. This is the same reason you should not do it normally, it will keep the sauce from sticking to the pasta!
While the pasta is cooking, cut up a smallish head of cauliflower into bite size flowerettes. If they are too big it will take longer to cook and you run the risk of burning the outsides. Also cut up a pint of grape tomatoes into halves. Throw it all onto a grill pan (or piece of heavy duty foil). Next give it all a drizzle of olive oil, salt (not too much), pepper, and garlic pepper. Finally top it with sliced pepperoni. Do not mix it up at this point.
By now your pasta should be done cooking. Drain it and put it into your serving bowl. If you didn’t add oil to the water, add a little now and mix it all together. Take everything outside to the grill.
On a medium grill, let things get good and hot and once you see that the edges of the cauliflower are browning and the tomatoes are giving up some juice, start to mix it up a bit. Now you just have to play it by ear. You want the cauliflower to get nice and browned and the tomatoes to get a good blister. I like it when the pepperoni get a little crunchy too, plus they will give up more oil which will lube up the veggies.
Once everything is to your desired degree of doneness, pour it on top of the pasta and mix it all together. Sprinkle with some parmesan cheese and fresh parsley or green onions and dinner is ready!
So my modification on ingredients was just the addition of the garlic powder and parmesan cheese. You could also add lots of other veggies if you want. I think zucchini, asparagus, or mushrooms would all make a great addition. If your not a pepperoni fan, smoked sausage, grilled chicken, or even shrimp could be nice.
Here’s my version, check out the link at the top if you want to cook the whole thing in the oven at home.
Pasta with Grilled Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Pepperoni
- 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 T olive oil, divided
- Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
- 12 oz small pasta such as rotini or shells
- 1 pint of grape tomatoes
- 6 oz pepperoni
- 2 T parmesan cheese
- chopped parsley or green onions for garnish fish (optional)
Cook the pasta with a little oil in the pot. While the pasta is cooking, layer the cauliflower and halved tomatoes on a grill pan or piece of heavy duty foil (on a cookie sheet to carry out to the grill). Drizzle the remaining oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cover with pepperoni.
Drain the pasta and take everything out to the grill. Grill the veggies for about 3-5 minutes before stirring to mix the pepperoni in. Let the cauliflower brown and tomatoes blister.
Mix the veggie mixture into the pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and garnish.
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