Sep 152016

Roasted Cauliflower and Cherry Tomato Pasta

Honestly we weren’t planning to post this, we were just making dinner and went with this because we still have cherry tomatoes bursting out of the garden like crazy and we had a head of cauliflower that we wanted to use. It’s loosely based on Alton Brown’s Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower recipe –  The only suitable pasta we had on hand was whole wheat rotini so that’s what we used.

When it came out of the oven it really wasn’t much to look at but we snapped a (not great) photo of it anyway. Very glad we did because as unimpressive as it is to look at, it was delicious. We finished the entire skillet – two of us. (Yeah, that good.) Just a reminder that sometimes you can start with a recipe, mix it up with your own ideas and ingredients and tah-dah! A new dish you’ll make again—possibly as early as tomorrow having all these cherry tomatoes! 

Skill: Intermediate
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: sautéing, baking, boiling
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, broken into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lb. rotini pasta (tricolor rotini would be great here, we used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 400° f.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with oil and 1 teaspoon salt in a 10″ cast iron or other oven-proof and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, carefully stirring halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile cook pasta as directed for al dente, or  even a minute less for firmer bite. Remember to reserve about a 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid when draining the pasta.  Set aside.
  4. Remove cauliflower skillet from oven and place stovetop over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic and red pepper flakes and until tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the cooked pasta into the skillet with the cauliflower mixture followed by a 1/4 to 1/3  cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir in Parmesan and cheddar cheeses.
  6. Top with bread crumbs.
  7. Return the skillet to the oven and cook another 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs are golden brown.
  8. Cool slightly before serving.


Very excitable and prone to fits of glee, Christine cooks on a vintage 1950 General Electric double-oven stove, does not have a dishwasher unless you count the husband, and is guilty of posting cat cuteness on the interwebs. She photographs and blogs about food and other joyful topics from her home in Vermont.

Co-Author of Garden Candy Basics

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