Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Prosciutto

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

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


  • 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


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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  • Lori S.

    Oh, my, this was soooo good! We didn’t have any tomatoes on hand, and we didn’t miss them at all. It was tasty, had excellent texture, and is great comfort food for a chilly fall day. Definitely will make again!

  • Sandra

    Delicious! I made this exactly as written in less than 30 minutes! Simple with lots of veggies makes it healthy too :) Love the proscuitto and parm too, YUM! The only thing I won’t do next time is add salt to the cauli/tomatoes before roasting. I thought it was a little bit salty because the proscuitto and parm add enough. But either way, fantastic with a nice glass of crisp white :)

  • marissa

    I’m a little confused as what to do with the tomatoes… can someone clarify?

    After you’ve roasted them with the cauliflower, toss them in at the end with the pasta. ~Elise

  • Christine

    I just made this for lunch today. I used a whole wheat shell pasta, a whole head of cauliflower rather than 1/2, and I diced up the spinach really fine. This is really a great tasting, healthy lunch. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  • Anna Marie

    This was absolutely delicious! I made a few changes that I was happy turned out great. I used diced pancetta in lieu of the prosciutto, and cut up about 10 fresh sage leaves. I love the flavor of fresh herbs so much more than dried. I also sauteed up the spinach in a little bit of olive oil before I put in in the dish. Wonderful!

  • Kathy Kolsky

    Read this recipe several times. I love Cauliflower and mostly just braise then brown in butter in a saute pan. Add garlic and parm or asiago, a little pasta water and small shells(usually). Simple and comforting. Only have one question. You don’t mention the cherry tomatoes after coming out of the oven the 1st time. I am assuming that they are done and put aside to be added at the last minute and not returned to the oven with the cauliflower. I guess your readers are bettter cooks then me and they figured out what to do on their own since none of the previous posters mentioned the missing cherry tomatoes. Looks and sounds great and just in time for cauliflower season here in Mn.

    Hi Kathy, great question. I clarified the instructions. Good catch! ~Elise

  • Sarah

    I made this dish last night and it was a hit!!! I did not have sage, but instead added thyme, rosemary and a hint of lemon peel. Everyone loved it!

  • George Winston

    Try adding some Kalamata or Nicoise olives for some add’l bitter elements… very nice!

    Oh.. and forget magazines.. not sure how they even stay in business these days.. I get all my recipes from blogs and the internet.. its todays recipe book/magazine!

  • melissa

    Thanks for such a fabulous recipe! I made this tonight for my husband and we both are IN LOVE with it! I also roasted some garlic separately and included in the final dish… so good. I love your site and you have the best recipes out there!!

  • Kasia

    Dear Elise

    I am getting married and my culinary skills were poor until I started using the recipes on your website. My recipes from the food network never worked out and I was giving up.

    I have made so many things on your website from tex-mex to budget meals. Thanks for putting this site up. My fiancé is too very appreciative.

    This dish was amazing. I know people add things on, I haven’t reached that skill yet. But I followed your recipe to a tee. And may I Say “WOW.”
    Ciao Ciao

    Hi Kasia – so glad you liked it! Hang in there with the cooking, it all gets easier over time. And none of us came out of the womb knowing how to cook. We all had to learn. :-) ~Elise

  • Ophelia

    Wow, I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious! Soooo excited I have leftovers for tonight, too! Followed the recipe exactly and everything came out perfectly — and not too expensive, either.

    I’m a distance runner so I’m always looking for new pasta recipes that also pack in lots of veggies for vitamins and such. I’ll definitely be working this one into the weeknight dinner rotation.

  • Beth

    This looks so good and I love cauliflower, but my husband hates it. Any suggestions for a substitute?

    You could just skip the cauliflower, up the pasta and the greens. ~Elise

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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