Cauliflower Bowtie Pasta

Do you know somebody who won’t eat their veggies?  Here’s a great way to sneak extra nutrients into your picky kiddos’ (or husband’s!) dinner.  The cauliflower helps to bulk up this pasta dish, but it isn’t easily discernible.  It’s color helps it blend into the pasta, too!  Cauliflower is chock full of vitamins C, K, B-6, and folate.  It’s also a source of calcium, iron, fiber, choline, magnesium, potassium, and even protein!  But most importantly, this dinner is delicious and full of flavor!

Cauliflower Bowtie Pasta
Yield:  8 servings
Time: About 40 minutes total

2 medium sized heads of cauliflower, chopped into ½-inch pieces
About ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) total
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs with Italian seasoning
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it!)
1 lb. bowtie pasta
1 large handful fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
½ cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat the oven to 425ºF.  Spread the chopped cauliflower onto a large, greased baking sheet.  Drizzle with 2 tbsp. of the olive oil.  Sprinkle with ½ tsp. of the salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.  Roast until tender and the cauliflower begins to brown slightly, about 25 minutes.  (I often broil on high for an additional 5 minutes toward the end because I like a really roasty flavor!)
  2. Meanwhile, begin to boil water for the pasta.  Cook the bowtie pasta according to the package instructions.  Be sure to reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water before draining it!
  3. Combine the breadcrumbs with 2 to 4 tbsp. EVOO in a large skillet.  Heat over medium heat until slightly toasted and golden in color, roughly 5 minutes.  Set aside.
  4. Place the chopped onion, shallot, and garlic in the skillet.  Add 1 tbsp. EVOO, the remaining ¼ tsp. salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook over medium-low heat until the onions and shallots become translucent and softened, roughly 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Stir together the drained pasta, roasted cauliflower, and sautéed onions and shallots.  Mix in the toasted breadcrumbs.  Gently stir in about 1 cup of the reserved pasta water, adding more if needed to bring all of the ingredients together and make pseudo sauce.
  6. Garnish with fresh parsley and shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese.

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