Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Breadcrumbs
Teresa Blackburn
  • Yield: 6 servings

Panko works better than fresh breadcrumbs for this, offering lovely texture and crunch against the tender cauliflower and pasta.


2pounds cauliflower florets, trimmed (about 2 medium head)
3tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1/2teaspoon salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
12ounces dried rigatoni (or other) chunky pasta
2tablespoons butter, divided
1/2cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2teaspoon anchovy paste
1/8teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
2/3cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4cup chopped fresh mint


  1. Preheat oven to 500F.
  2. Slice cauliflower florets into halves vertically (quarters if large), toss with 2 tablespoons oil, and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Roast 10 minutes, turn cauliflower and roast 5 minutes more, or until tender and browned.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. While pasta is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Add panko, and cook 3 minutes or until browned. Set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon each oil and butter in skillet.  Add sliced garlic, and sauté until golden. Add red pepper and anchovy paste, stirring well; add cauliflower and toss well.
  5. Return drained pasta to pot with 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add cauliflower mixture and Romano, cover and cook 3 minutes. Stir in mint and black pepper. Spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs.

Wine Pairing: Bright Italian reds go beautifully with Pecorino Romano, so reach for Caldora Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($11), a bottle with a great balance of fruit, spice, and a little zip on the finish.—Wini Moranville, Relish wine columnist

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 398
  • Fat 17g
  • Saturated Fat 5g
  • Cholesterol 21mg
  • Sodium 388mg
  • Carbohydrate 50g
  • Fiber 3g
  • Sugars 3g
  • Protein 12g