This cauliflower pasta is loaded with flavor, packed with caramelized roasted cauliflower, Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil!
- 1 recipe Perfect Roasted Cauliflower
- 8 ounces short pasta (rigatoni, penne, etc)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (homemade or plain store bought breadcrumbs* — see note)
- 6 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 3/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, optional
- Make the cauliflower: Make the Roasted Cauliflower. When it’s done, make sure to add the garlic and lemon zest per that recipe.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Make the herbed breadcrumbs: Place the basil leaves on a cutting board with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese; use a large knife to chop them together until finely minced. Then place it in a bowl and combine it with the breadcrumbs.
- Boil the pasta: Boil the pasta until it is al dente (start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside). Reserve about 3/4 cup of the pasta water. Then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
- Season the pasta: Immediately add the butter and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or less if you’re using purchased bread crumbs with salt) stirring until it melts, then add the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese about 1/2 cup pasta water. Stir until a creamy sauce forms, adding more of the reserved pasta water if necessary (if it gums up, just keep adding pasta water and stirring until a creamy sauce forms)
- Assemble the pasta and serve: Stir in the roasted cauliflower to the pasta. Top with the breadcrumb topping and a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with red pepper flakes and toasted pine nuts, if using. Serve warm.
*If you can only find store bought breadcrumbs that have salt, dial back the salt in the pasta to account for this (see Step 5).
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: Cauliflower Pasta