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Cauliflower Sauce with Whole Wheat Penne


  • 1 pound whole wheat penne rigate

  • Salt

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 3 cloves garlic, cracked from skin and sliced

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 head cauliflower, stem removed and chopped

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped

  • 3/4 cup grated Romano cheese (3 generous handfuls)

  • Salt and black pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta and cook to al dente. Drain and reserve two ladles of pasta water.

While water is coming up to a boil and pasta cooks, make the sauce: heat a deep skillet over medium heat with EVOO. Add garlic and cook three minutes, then remove. Add onions and cook five minutes, then add the cauliflower, chicken stock and rosemary. Cover the pan and cook 15 minutes.

Uncover the sauce, add 1-2 ladles of pasta water and mash the cauliflower with the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher. Add the pasta and cheese to the cauliflower and toss to combine. Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste and serve.