Pasta with cauliflower is a healthy, delicious and super easy to prepare first course meal.
It has a creamy texture thanks to the cauliflower, and in this recipe we enriched this delicious pasta and cauliflower with the addition of pancetta.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why This Recipe Is The Best
Healthy: Cauliflowers have so many benefits.
Easy and fast to make: A really easy pasta recipe with simple ingredients, a first course that can be prepared in half an hour, that the whole family will love.
Creamy and delicious: Thanks to the cauliflower, the result will be a super creamy , without the addition of any heavy cream.
Cauliflower Pasta Recipe Ingredients
Cauliflower: The main element of this recipe.
Make sure the cauliflower is fresh. T
o assess its freshness, check the texture of the head, which should be firm and compact, the florets should be tight, the surface uniform and not grainy.
And there should be no green shoots between its inflorescences.
Pasta: I chose the reginette (Mafaldine). But a short pasta is also fine, such as macaroni or ditali.
Garlic, olive oil and fresh basil: Basic ingredients that I use very often in my recipes.
Instead of basil, you can use fresh parsley if you prefer.
Parmesan cheese: I love parmesan cheese on pasta. It creates that creaminess that makes any pasta dish super special.
You can also use pecorino romano if you prefer.
Salt and black pepper to taste.
How to Make Creamy Pasta With Cauliflower
Prepare the cauliflower: Clean the cauliflower well under running water and divide into florets.
Cook it in a large pot of salted water and let the cauliflower cook until softened.
Prepare the base for the pasta: In a large skillet we start with the bacon.
Let the fat release, after which we add a drizzle of oil and brown the sliced garlic.
Add the cauliflower: When the cauliflower is soft, we can add it to the bacon and garlic, and mash some of the florets with a fork.
This is the secret to a super creamy pasta. Add a little bit of cooking water and let it cook.
Cook the pasta: We will cook the pasta in the same water where we cooked the cauliflower.
Mix everything: When the pasta is al dente, transfer it to the pan with the cauliflower, add some cooking water and mix well.
Finally add the parmesan cheese and basil and until the cheese melts.
It is ready to enjoy!
Cauliflower Pasta Recipe Tips
Cooking the pasta: The pasta should always be al dente when we add it to the cauliflower.
Cook for about 2-3 minutes less than the package instructions.
This will prevent the pasta from becoming too soft when combined with the sauce.
Make cauliflower florets the same size: To make the cauliflower florets cook evenly, cut them into uniform sizes.
Keep in mind that the smaller the florets, the quicker they will cook.
Mash some cauliflower: This is the secret to a super creamy pasta.
If you prefer a smoother consistency for the sauce, blend the cauliflower with a cup of pasta water before adding it to the pasta.
Always save some pasta cooking water: It will help all the ingredients blend together.
Cauliflower Pasta Variations
Vegetarian version: Just don’t add bacon.
Vegan version: For a vegan option, substitute the parmesan cheese and use nutritional yeast instead.
Add some toasted walnuts or breadcrumbs for extra texture and crunch. And do not add the pancetta.
Add anchovies: Sauté anchovies together with garlic. The pasta with the cauliflower will have a stronger flavor.
Baked cauliflower pasta: A great idea if you want to prepare pasta with cauliflower in advance.
Add some béchamel sauce or cheese sauce and mozzarella cheese to make it super stringy.
Bake it in the oven at 400°F for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Pasta, cauliflower and grated bread crumbs: Toast the breadcrumbs with some pine nuts in a nonstick skillet with the chili, stirring often to prevent burning.
Add it at the end of cooking. A twist for this pasta super delicious!
Feeling adventurous? Try making a roasted garlic cauliflower sauce instead of just using boiled cauliflower.
Make this recipe your own by experimenting with different herbs and spices.
Try adding some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick or some lemon zest and lemon juice for a citrusy flavor.
You can also mix and match different vegetables such as broccoli or zucchini to create your own perfect comfort dish.
Want to add some protein?
Cook up some chicken or shrimp to toss in with the pasta.
What are the health benefits of cauliflower?
Cauliflower is a vegetable that belongs to the Brassica genus, as does cabbage in its various forms.
Low in calories but with a good vitamin profile, it is an excellent health ally and has a wide versatility of use in cooking.
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Absolutely! You can use any pasta shape you prefer.
What To Serve With Cauliflower Pasta
A crusty loaf of bread or some garlic bread is also a great addition to round out the meal.
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Cauliflower Pasta Recipe
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- 1 Cauliflower head
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 cup Pancetta (Bacon)
- 1/4 Parmesan or pecorino cheese
- A few basil leaves
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 8 oz (250g) Pasta
- Begin by cleaning the cauliflower under running water.
- Cut it into florets and cook for about 10-15 minutes in salted water at medium heat.
- Cut the garlic into rounds, remembering to remove the garlic core to make it more digestible, and set aside.
- In a high-sided pan put the bacon and let the fat release. After about 3 minutes, add the garlic and let it brown.
- At this point the cauliflower should be cooked.
- Transfer the cauliflower from the pot to a large sheet pan with the bacon and garlic using a slotted spoon and continue to cook at medium-low heat
- We will use the same cooking water as the cauliflower to cook the pasta. Then cook the pasta and add salt if needed.
- Meanwhile, with the help of a fork, mash some of the cauliflower florets and add some of the cooking water. Cook on a low heat.When the pasta is al dente, transfer it to the pan with the cauliflower mixture
- Add half a cup of the pasta cooking water and mixes well.
- Finally, add the parmesan and basil with the heat off and give it a stir until the cheese melts.
- Serve it hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 629Total Fat: 58gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 572mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 17g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.
How long does this pasta last in the fridge?
You can store pasta with broccoli for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
To reheat it you can do it a pan with a little olive oil.
How to Freeze Cauliflower Pasta
If you want to freeze pasta with cauliflower, store leftover pasta in an airtight freezer container for up to 3 months.