Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Prosciutto

We are big fans of cauliflower, especially roasted cauliflower. Now if you start with nutty roasted cauliflower, and add some Parmesan, some chopped prosciutto, a few roasted tomatoes, some garlic, and stir in some tender greens like baby arugula or spinach, and some pasta, you are firing on all taste cylinders. Tomatoes for the sweet and acid, greens for the bitter, and Parmesan and prosciutto for the salt and umami make this pasta dish almost impossible to put down once you start. My father found this recipe in a recent issue of Fine Cooking, one of our favorite magazines. We adapted it a little, found that we wanted more cauliflower and less pasta than the original recipe called for, and made a few other minor changes.

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Prosciutto Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

If cherry tomatoes aren't available, you can skip them and add a few chopped sun dried tomatoes to the dish at the end.

Yum

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium cauliflower, cored and broken up into 3/4-inch florets (4+ cups)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 4 ounces of prosciutto
  • 8 ounces orecchiette pasta
  • 5 ounces baby arugula or spinach, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Method

1 Preheat oven to 425°F. Lay out cauliflower and tomatoes in a roasting pan, coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until just lightly browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

2 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (1 teaspoon salt for every quart of water).

3 While water is heating, pulse garlic, sage, and prosciutto together in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Once cauliflower has browned lightly, remove from oven, toss cauliflower with garlic prosciutto mixture, and return to oven to cook for 5-7 minutes more.

4 Boil pasta uncovered (rolling boil) for 9-10 minutes until firm, but done (al dente). Reserve one cup of pasta liquid. Drain water from pot. Add cauliflower, tomatoes, arugula (or spinach), and Parmesan to the pasta. Stir in enough cooking water to moisten. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking magazine.

Showing 4 of 19 Comments

  • Laura [What I Like]

    I absolutely adore cauliflower, and roasting is far and away my favorite preparation. And I’ve recently become completely enamored with orecchiette…perfect tiny cups to hold fat and/or sauce.

  • Karen

    Elise, I’d love to know what are your other favorite cooking magazines. I’m always looking for new ones. Thanks for this recipe- it looks delicious!

    Good question, almost worth a post, isn’t it? In a nutshell, Fine Cooking, Sunset (great recipes), Gourmet, Cooks Illustrated, as well as some interesting journals such as Meat Paper, The Art of Eating, Gastronomica, and our very own Edible Sacramento. ~Elise

  • Madeline

    I made this today and it was fantastic. I didn’t have cherry tomatoes so I used sundried and I only had rotini on hand so subbed that. I loved the spicy arugula. Really great flavors in this recipe. Delicious!

  • arceemee

    Made this last night and changed a few things. Used regular tomatoes cut up (small romas, cut in half), and got pancetta by accident (comes already diced at Trader Joe’s). I roasted the cauliflower and tomatoes, but then just sauteed the pancetta, garlic (didn’t have any sage), added sliced red bell pepper, then a bag of mixed greens from Trader Joe’s (Chard of Many Colors) and several cups of the pasta water. Added the roasted veggies, stirred all, and heated through, both covered and uncovered, until the greens were cooked, and all the ingredients were “married.” Then I added the cooked pasta stirred, and cooked all together a little longer (a minute or two). Served with parmesan sprinkled on top and it was totally delicious! Thanks so much for the inspiration.

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