Easy Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Pine Nuts and Ricotta Salata

with Pine nuts and Ricotta Salata

Easy Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Pine Nuts and Ricotta Salata

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I rarely come up with original recipes but this one came to me one day when I didn't know what to make. I found myself with some random ingredients and a craving for pasta. I had leftover roasted cauliflower and I thought that maybe if I made a sort of anchovy aglio e olio pasta, I could add it in. To be honest, I thought I'd be disappointed but was I ever wrong! It's the pasta dish I crave the most. It's flavourful on so many levels with the toastiness of the pine nuts, the caramelized cauliflower, the delicious garlic-oil and the rest. On Instagram, it has quickly become a follower favourite! You've gotta try it.
I list some quantities but since this is a dish born of leftovers, I often eye-ball it and you can do so as well. Taste as you go 😉
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword anchovy, Cauliflower, lemon zest, pasta, pine nuts, roasted cauliflower
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 People
Author Vanilla Bean Online


  • 1 large head Cauliflower, cut into florets, roasted (recipe linked)
  • 300 g pasta
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 fillets anchovy minced or mashed
  • 2 handfuls leafy greens such as kale, spinach, swiss chard (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • lemon zest to taste
  • salt to taste
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes


  • In a dry mediium non-stick frying pan, toast pine nuts until golden and fragrant. Set aside.
  • In the same frying pan add aprox. 3tbsp of olive oil and heat until oil is shimmering slightly. Add minced garlic, anchovy and red pepper flakes (if using). Cook until garlic is light gold. Add a handful of greens and toss to wilt. Set aside
  • Meanwhile, boil your pasta in heavily salted water. I like it cook it 'til al dente as it will be tossed with the other ingredients and pasta water and will cook further. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water and drain.
  • Return pasta to the same pot and add olive oil/garlic mixture. Add toasted pine nuts. Add roasted cauliflower and toss. With heat on low, add some pasta water a little at a time and keep stirring until it evaporates and pasta looks glossy and saucy 😉 (you probably won't use the whole cup of water)
  • Remove from heat and ladle into plates. Top with a generous amount of ricotta salata (if using) and add lemon zest, fresh cracked pepper and a ribbon of olive oil.


For two people, I used 1/2 a head of cauliflower. So if cooking for 4 use the whole head make 450g pasta.
Cauliflower can be roasted a few days in advance
Here is by go-to roasted cauliflower recipe – https://stephaniemormina.com/recipe/my-go-to-roasted-cauliflower

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