February 21, 2022 by Arden Montgomery

Rigatoni alla Cauliflower


  • 1 head of Cauliflower 
  • Onion
  • 1 tub of Creme Fraiche
  • 1 bunch of Parsley
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Red Chilis
  • 1 tablespoon Nutmeg
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 bunch of Broccoli Rabe
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Lemon (Zest + Juice)
  • Rigatoni
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Pecorino
  • 3 pieces of Bacon

Chop the entire cauliflower (leaves, trees stalks, etc.), onion, the entire bunch of parsley (leaving some leaves set aside for garnishing), and the bunch of broccoli rabe (chop some of the leaves and then pick the trees and chop a few or leave them whole, however you prefer). Mince the garlic and chop the red chili. Zest the lemon. Set aside.

Boil water for the pasta.

Mix a handful of breadcrumbs, pecorino, and red pepper flakes together and toast in a skillet until golden. Be careful not to burn! These will toast quickly. Toss them around in the pan so they evenly toast. Set aside in a bowl.

Heat a large pot and add a lug of olive oil to the heated pot. Throw in the minced garlic and onion. Crack some black pepper and mix everything together and simmer until the onions are translucent. Add in the red chili, nutmeg, and chopped parsley and mix. Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the mixture. Mix everything together and brown the bacon.

Add in the cauliflower and mix everything together. Cover and simmer on low for 20-30 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Continue to mix and add in olive oil as needed.

Add pasta to the boiling water. While the pasta is cooking, add the broccoli rabe and stir the Creme Fraiche into the cauliflower mixture. The cauliflower by this point should be soft. If it needs to continue cooking let it cook through until soft.

When the pasta is ready, add it to the cauliflower mixture with a 1/2 cup – 1 cup of the pasta water. Mix everything together allowing the pasta water to mix well into the sauce. Season with some sea salt and lemon juice to taste.

To plate, spoon the pasta into a shallow bowl and garnish with parsley, cracked black pepper, pecorino, lemon zest and breadcrumb mixture. A little extra pecorino doesn’t hurt!

Pair with 2016 Eraldo Borgogno Barolo and enjoy!

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