Roasted cauliflower becomes sweet as it caramelizes in olive oil with pancetta and penne pasta.
3slicessourdough bread cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4cupplus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
6ouncesdeli sliced pancetta
1head cauliflowerstalks removed and florets cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1teaspoondried chili flakes
1/3cupgrated Parmesan cheese
1/4cupchopped Italian parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss the bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt. Toast in the oven until the bread is golden and let cool. Crumble the croutons into small pieces by pouring into a gallon bag and crushing with the bottom of a heavy bottomed pan or a rolling pin.
Boil the penne pasta in salted water according to package directions and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a dutch oven or large, high-sided skilled and cook the pancetta slices until cooked through. Transfer to a plate topped with paper towels and drain.
Heat 1/8 cup of the olive oil in a large dutch oven or high sided fry pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the cauliflower and cook until browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add half of the garlic and cook for 30 seconds and season with kosher salt and transfer to a bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining cauliflower and garlic and add to the reserved cauliflower to the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the chili flakes and stir to coat. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the penne to the skillet along with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, Parmesan cheese, crushed bread crumbs and cooked pancetta and cook together for 1-2 more minutes. Season with additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with Italian parsley and serve.