Penne with Cauliflower andĀ Pancetta

October  7, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I was on a roasted cauliflower kick, when I felt like doing something a bit different. I rummaged around, and made this with what was in my kitchen. I prefer recipes that are easy to prepare, but don't taste that way :). Simplicity is sometimes better, allowing you to savor all the flavors without being overwhelmed. I hope this recipe does that for you. —rhinna

What You'll Need
  • Bread Crumb Topping
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pasta and Sauce
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (more or less)
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 anchovy filets crushed to a paste
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Juice from 1/2 small lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup Freshly grated Romano Cheese
  • 1/3-1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 ounces chopped pancetta
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 head of Cauliflower, broken into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2-3 tablespoons EVOO (for Cauliflower)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces Penne pasta cooked, drained
  1. Bread Crumb Topping
  2. Brown the breadcrumbs in a frying pan on medium heat, stirring frequently until golden. Remove from pan, set aside. In the same pan, melt the butter, then add the garlic - cook for a few minutes medium low, until garlic is tender. Remove from heat, add the breadcrumbs and toss. Set aside.
  1. Pasta and Sauce
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Toss Cauliflower with 2-3 TBS of EVOO, place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes, turning/stirring about every ten minutes or until brown. Set aside.
  4. Heat the EVOO for the sauce in a large pan - add the garlic and pancetta - cook over medium heat until the pancetta begins to brown.
  5. Add the red pepper, anchovies, capers. Continue cooking until pancetta is golden. Toss in the parsley, squeeze in the lemon juice, add the cauliflower and walnuts and combine all.
  6. Place pasta in a serving dish, and pour sauce over. Add about 1/3 cup broth, mixing until pasta is evenly coated. (It will "thin out" the pancetta/cauliflower mixture a bit and allow more even coating)
  7. Add romano cheese, toss again.
  8. Garnish with a generous sprinkling of garlic breadcrumbs and serve immediately with extra romano cheese for sprinkling.

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1 Review

Midge October 8, 2010
Yum. I always blanch cauliflower for pasta dishes, but will try roasting next time.