Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Ham

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Cauliflower is an inexpensive and nutritious vegetable, but not many people find it exciting. Roast it, however, and it undergoes a Cinderella-like transformation. Here’s a dish that will not fail you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 lbs), cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1/2 lb sliced boiled ham (or ham steak), cut into ribbons/cubes.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the cauliflower pieces on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until browned, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Cook, without stirring, until the butter is goden-brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the sage and remove from the heat.
  3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, drain and return the pasta to the pot. Stir in ham, cauliflower and reserved cooking water. Stir in the sage butter and season with salt and pepper.
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