Homemade spinach fettuccine with cauliflower and green olives is an easy, delicious vegetarian recipe.
It is dressed very simply with extra virgin olive oil and shredded cheese, then sprinkled with toasted almonds and sesame seeds. (My favorite cheeses for this are Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Here is a taste of the Mediterranean for you as this recipe is bursting with salty olives, bell peppers, cauliflower, and freshly chopped parsley.
Not only is the Mediterranean diet considered to be one of the healthiest in the world, but it has also mastered vegetarian cuisine. Plus, they love my favorite ingredient – olive oil!
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean Sea flows against a wide expanse of land full of different regions, terrains and cultures. Naturally, the diet is varied.
In general, however, the diet is high in vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, fish, and olive oil. These ingredients are incredibly nutritious, leading to a healthy heart, higher resistance to illnesses, and maintaining a slim figure.
Check out my article on the 21 Remarkable Benefits of Olive Oil.
While Italy is renowned for pizza and pasta, it is also infamous for its vegetarian Mediterranean diet. This is especially true in the south, as seasonal vegetables are put under the spotlight. Bright red tomatoes, enormous eggplants, ripe figs, brightly-colored cauliflower, and of course, plump and shiny olives.
Simple and Healthy Ingredients
When creating this spinach fettuccine recipe served with cauliflower and green olives, I was inspired by the Italian vegetarian cuisine, bringing those valuable vegetables to life and incorporating them in new, exciting ways by using my vividly green spinach fettuccine.
The recipe for the spinach pasta can be found here.
Good, homemade pasta is an essential for the Mediterranean diet, particularly as it fills you quickly and, when combined with nuts and seeds like in this recipe, it gives a boost of fiber and protein.
Seasoned with plenty of olive oil, it’s not only delicious, but healthy enough to eat every day.
Tip: After cooking, save some of the pasta water, which, when combined with the Pecorino creates a silky sauce to coat the pasta ribbons.
In the traditional Italian style, the food is simple yet substantial. Throughout the winter, cauliflower pasta dishes are incredibly popular in Italy, which originated in Puglia where multi-colored varieties of cauliflower grow.
The recipes are now incredibly varied whether by adding tomato, or anchovies, or keeping it simple by seasoning it with a little drizzle of olive oil. No matter which ingredients are included, the staple of cauliflower and pasta is served as the first course of the evening.
So, if you’re looking for a healthy, low-fat, vegetarian recipe try this fettuccine. It is full of fresh, earthy, salty flavor, crisp crunchy nuts and seeds, and a touch of heat.
Bring the Mediterranean to your kitchen tonight by serving vegetarian spinach fettuccine with cauliflower and green olives.
Watch the Meal Prepared in My Video
Check out the video below to see how this wonderful meal is cooked.
Spinach Fettuccine with Cauliflower and Olives
- ¾ cup Slivered Almonds
- 2 tbsp Sesame Seeds
- 1 cup Green Olives Pitted and Chopped
- ½ cup Fresh Parsley Chopped
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- 2 lb Cauliflower 1" Florets
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 Red Bell Pepper Diced
- 3 cloves Garlic Minced
- ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 3/4 lb Homemade Spinach Pasta
- 1 cup Pasta Cooking Water
- ½ cup Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese Finely Grated
Toast the Nuts and Seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
- Spread almonds and sesame seeds on a baking sheet.
- Bake almonds and sesame seeds in the preheated oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
- Add cauliflower and salt, stirring occasionally (about 4 minutes).
- Add bell pepper; cook until cauliflower is golden brown (about 8 minutes more).
- Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
- Remove skillet from the heat.
- Bring 3 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Cook pasta in the boiling water, stirring carefully, until al dente (approximately 45-60 seconds).
- Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water.
- Return cooked pasta to the pot.
- Return skillet to medium heat.
- Stir 1/4 cup pasta cooking water into the cauliflower mixture.
- Boil for 1 minute to deglaze the bottom of the skillet.
- Add chopped olives and parsley.
- Cook and stir until heated through (about 2 minutes).
- Pour cauliflower mixture over the pasta and toss well.
- Add Pecorino Romano and toss again.
- Moisten pasta with more cooking water if it appears dry.
- Sprinkle with toasted almonds and sesame seeds and serve immediately.