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Cauliflower pasta

Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x


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


  1. Make the cauliflower: Make the Roasted Cauliflower. When it’s done, make sure to add the garlic and lemon zest per that recipe.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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)
  6. 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