Pasta with Cauliflower and Pine Nuts

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
  • 1  2 ½ lb head of cauliflower broken into bite size florets
  • ¾   c. Panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 or 3 anchovy fillets chopped
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ c. Grated Romano cheese
  • 1/3 c. Pine nuts toasted (toaster oven 3 minutes til golden)
  • 1/3 c. Flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 1 lb favorite tube pasta (rigatoni etc)


Preheat oven 450-500f

Toss cauliflower with 4 Tbs olive oil along with a ½ tsp salt and a little fresh cracked black pepper. Spread on baking sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes or until it starts to color around the edges. It should be tender.

While that‘s roasting, start a pot of boiling water to cook the pasta.

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add panko and cook over medium high heat until toasted. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and remove from pan.

When cauliflower comes out of the oven, add 3 Tbs olive oil to same skillet used for panko. Cook garlic over medium heat for 1 minute. Add anchovies and red pepper flake and continue cooking another minute while crushing the chopped anchovy fillets. They should almost disappear in the oil and garlic.

Add the roasted cauliflower to the skillet and gently toss. Remove from heat.

When you drain the pasta, save a cup of the cooking water. This can be used later to adjust the consistency of the sauce.

Now it’s time to combine all of the ingredients. Skillet or pasta pot, whichever has enough room for everything.

Start by combining the pasta with the cauliflower, and a little more than ½ the grated Romano. Give it a gentle stir over low heat just long enough to make sure it’s hot (couple minutes). Place in pasta bowl or individual dishes and top with pine nuts, panko, parsley, and Romano cheese.