Roasted Cauliflower Orecchiette | Atkins Diet-Friendly Recipe | Rachael Ray
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Roasted Cauliflower Orecchiette | Atkins Diet-Friendly Recipe | Rachael Ray

Rach shares an Atkins diet-friendly pasta recipe that's loaded with delicious roasted cauliflower in honor of celebrity guest Rob Lowe—a longtime low-carb diet fan and Atkins Diet spokesperson.

"Make this pasta with less pasta and more cauliflower and you probably will not miss it." —Rach


For the roasted cauliflower:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets

  • Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) spray, or drizzle to coat cauliflower lightly

  • 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped

  • Salt and pepper

For the pasta:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 4 to 6 anchovies, (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons red chili paste/Calabrian chili paste or 1 teaspoon red chili flakes

  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained

  • ½ cup white vermouth or white wine

  • 8 to 12 ounces orecchiette or pasta of choice

  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 cup flat parsley, chopped

  • ½ cup toasted chopped nuts: pistachios, pine nuts, almonds or walnuts


Heat oven to 425˚F with rack at center.   

Arrange cauliflower on large parchment-lined baking sheet, dress with EVOO and season with lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper. Cut the zested lemon in half and place on the baking sheet. Roast to crispy and tender and brown at edges, about 25 minutes. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta, 4 to 5 quarts.   

Heat a large skillet with about ¼ cup EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, add anchovies and melt into oil, breaking up with wooden paddle or spoon. Add the chili paste or flakes and garlic, swirl a minute, then add capers and vermouth or wine and reduce a minute, reduce heat to warm or remove from heat if your burners are very strong. 

Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions in salted water and reserve ½ cup pasta water. Drain and add to pan with the sauce.  

Add pasta water, cheese and cauliflower to pasta with parsley and half the nuts. Squeeze with roasted lemon juice and toss. Top with remaining nuts and serve. 

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