Cacio e pepe means cheese and pepper in Italian, and usually refers to a simple pasta dish consisting of Parmesan, salt and freshly cracked black pepper. We’re adding extra cheese with cheese-filled tortellini and roasted cauliflower to make this unbeatable pasta dinner.
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Before starting, preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash and dry all produce. Add 10 cups water and 1 tbsp salt to a large pot (use same for 4 ppl). Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. While water comes to a boil, cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Halve, peel, then thinly slice shallot. Peel, then thinly slice garlic.
Add cauliflower and 1 tbsp oil (dbl for 4 ppl) to a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Roast in the middle of the oven, stirring halfway through, until golden-brown, 14-16 min.
Add tortellini to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2-3 min. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water (dbl for 4 ppl), then drain and return tortellini to the same pot, off heat.
While tortellini cooks, heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tbsp butter (dbl for 4 ppl) then garlic, peas and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots soften, 2-3 min. Add cream and 1/4 tsp black pepper(dbl for 4 ppl ). Cook, stirring together, until sauce thickens slightly, 1-2 min.
Add cream sauce, spinach, Parmesan and reserved pasta water to the pot with tortellini. Stir together until spinach wilts, 1 min.
Divide Cacio e Pepe tortellini between plates. Top with roasted cauliflower.