Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cauliflower Pasta

This is one of my favorite recipes.  It's easy, affordable and a total crowd pleaser.  I often make it on its own (it makes wonderful leftovers), but if I am having a dinner party,  I like to pair it with either grilled sausage and a salad or italian style baked sausage and peppers.  Last week, for a girls dinner, I served it with loukanika (a grilled greek sausage that contains orange), an orange and fennel salad and a great bottle of Long Island rosé.  It was a great summer meal!

On to the recipe!


  • 1 head of cauliflower (cut into florets)
  • 1 block of parmesean cheese (grated)
  • red pepper flakes (not chilis! I made this mistake once when cooking this dish in a foreign country and it was a bit too hot to handle!)
  • 1 box of penne pasta (whole wheat or regular)
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets.
  3. Over medium heat, sauté the florets in a dutch oven with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes.  About 10 minutes.
  4. Add 1 cup of freshly grated parmesean and more red pepper flakes if desired (I usually add more!). 
  5. Cover the dutch oven and place in the preheated oven.  I don't really time this recipe.  Instead, I wait for the cauliflower to be tender enough to fall apart when touched with a wooden spoon.  After about fifteen minutes, I start to check on it and usually begin the pasta around that time.
  6. Cook penne as directed.
  7. Once the cauliflower is tender and has formed a sort of ragu, remove it from the oven.  Add the cooked pasta to the dutch oven, toss and serve with more grated parmesean on the side.
In the words of Ina Garten, "how easy is that"?  I hope you'll try it out, as I am sure you will love this dish as much as I do.  I'll post the fennel and orange salad in the next couple of days!

Will you be trying this out?  Let me know!  I love hearing from you!


Step 3 - Sauté the florets with olive oil & red pepper flakes.

Step 4 - Add more red pepper flakes if desired.

Step 4 - Add freshly grated parmesean.

The end result!

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