In the Food Network Magazine, this was touted as being a super-simple, down-home kind of meal. And guess what? It was. While I'm slightly opposed to having used some French's Fried Onions in my pasta dish, the opposition seemed to decrease the more pasta I ate. It is really good. I would definitely make this again.
Food Network Magazine, November 2010
12 ounces linguine
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1/4 cup panko -- (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup fried onions -- chopped
4 cups cauliflower florets -- roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes -- (1/2 to 1)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese -- plus more for topping
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return to the pot and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add the panko and fried onions and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; wipe out the skillet.
3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until the edges brown, about 4 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and toast 30 seconds. Add the reserved pasta water and cook until the liquid is reduced by half and the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 1 more minute.
4. Add the pasta, onion mixture and parmesan to the skillet and toss. Season with salt. Top with the basil, pine nuts and more parmesan.