November 18, 2013

Penne with Harissa Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, Carrot Strips and Capers

Pasta Lovers, Rejoice. I think today's recipe will make your mouths water (just like mine) and urge you to go for a second serving. I was so mighty happy with the results that I just couldn't wait to share it with you all.

This spicy pasta was made for a long lost childhood friend, whom I was meeting after many years. It was pure fun to catch up what we had missed all this while and a foodie herself, the conversation inadvertently moved on to cuisines we tried, recipes (her latest find - Spaghetti carbonara with Quorn) and favorite restaurants in town etc etc. Out of the blue, she exclaims"Are you still a vegetarian?" quite surprised. Her expression was quite remarkable as if I have had survived through a huge tornedo. "Yes!" I replied firmly, quite annoyed at the stern objectivity of the question.

The tiff between the likes of vegetarians and non vegetarians is age old. The meat lovers wonder what do vegetarians eat and we wonder how can they simply relish food which involves butchering an innocent animal. So many times I have been asked politely and directly if I was a vegetarian by choice or did someone force me into it. I find that question very amusing as I never asked them the same question. It is just the way I am I say to avoid any further inquiries. If they really persist, irritated ofcourse I casually give the blog links of mine and a bunch of others to prove my point that we, vegetarians indeed eat delicious, healthy food with pleasure and relish them without any guilt. :-)

In the beginning of my post, I promised to share my pasta experiment of mine. Haven't I? Without further ranting about veg vs non-veg ( which can just go-on), let just dive into its details, so that you can make some too. Shall we?

Thanksgiving is around the corner. Probably you can make some harissa pasta for your vegetarian friends. The vegetables can be roasted well in advance and stored in refrigerator. On the day, all you have to do is cook pasta, toss these vegetables and capers in olive oil and Serve! Enjoy.

Penne with Harissa Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, Carrot Strips and Capers

Make Time: 45 mins
Serves 3 to 4


1/2 pound dried penne pasta (or any other pasta)
2 tbsp harissa paste
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
salt - to taste
1-2 tbsp of pickled capers, drained
1 cup cut cauliflower
2 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, cut into thin strips
chopped coriander leaves


In a small bowl, whisk together harissa paste, 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt and black pepper powder. Keep aside.

Preheat oven to 180 C or 400 F. On a baking sheet, spread cauliflower florets, bell peppers, carrot strips, chopped tomatoes and corainder leaves. Top with the harissa dressing and toss so that the veggies are evenly coated. Bake for about 25 to 30 mins until they lightly crispy.

Cook pasta in lots of salted boiling water as per package instructions or until al dente.

Heat few tbsp of olive oil in pan and toss together roasted veggies, capers with penne. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If you want to increase the heat, optionally add little harissa to pasta. Cook for 4 to 5 mins. Serve and garnish with fresh herbs and cheese (if you wish to).

[Updated - 24th November 2103] - On a special request from my little sister, I made a few boxes of this pasta for her family. :-) Tried the same recipe with Farfalle (bow-tie pasta) as well (pic of the left) and it turned out great.

This is Recipe 64 added to 2013 Recipe Archive. Check out the rest of the recipes too.


Did you like what you just read. then Subscribe to Cooking With Siri feed  (OR)

Enter your email address and Never miss a post..

Delivered by FeedBurner

Be the first one to know what I am going to post next by "Liking" Cooking With Siri page on Facebook and follow me on twitter.

until next recipe,


  1. A tasty combination! The kind of pasta dish I like to eat.



  2. The pasta looks delicious combined with harissa... Am glad you caught up with an old friend, but totally get your annoyance at being questioned abt your choice of food. I'm a South Indian brahmin who is non-vegetarian by choice, and no one grills me about my choices! So why shd your lifestyle be treated differently?! Right? And you truly have a good answet to give all those people.... your blog is more than enough proof about how lovely vegetarian food can be and how delicious you make it!

  3. That pasta looks absolutely delicious. I just picked up a new bottle of harissa and will be trying this recipe very very soon.

  4. Yum! Pasta looks divine...

    Vegetarians consuming dairy milk , ghee and paneer think that their diet is "ahimsa diet".

    I feel vegetarians cause more pain and suffering to cows, than meat eaters.

    The condition of milk producing cows is so horrible. I find it so weird when millions of Hindus pray to cow,
    and consume milk products every day...

    Vegan diet is the cruel-free diet...


'Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it' ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks for taking time to leave your feedback.

Note: Any comments with external links will not be published.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...