Roasted Cauliflower & Orecchiette with Garlic Breadcrumbs

Roasted Cauliflower & Orecchiette

with Garlic Breadcrumbs

30 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

In this dish, a duo of orecchiette pasta and cauliflower is tossed with a light, aromatic butter sauce, which highlights shallot, capers, red pepper flakes, and more. A sprinkling of garlic-toasted breadcrumbs finishes the dish with delightfully crispy contrast.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    630 Cals (est.)
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tips & techniques
Prepare & roast the cauliflower:
1 Prepare & roast the cauliflower:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Fill a large pot with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut out and discard the core of the cauliflower; cut into small florets. Transfer to a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 19 to 21 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

Cook the pasta:
2 Cook the pasta:

While the cauliflower roasts, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 9 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

Prepare the remaining ingredients:
3 Prepare the remaining ingredients:

While the pasta cooks, if necessary, peel 1 clove of garlic. Finely chop the clove; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Peel the shallot; thinly slice into rounds. Zest the lemon (if you don’t have a zester, use a peeler to remove the yellow rind, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind). Quarter and deseed the lemon. 

Make the garlic breadcrumbs:
4 Make the garlic breadcrumbs:

In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the breadcrumbs and half the garlic paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Wipe out the pan. 

Cook the aromatics:
5 Cook the aromatics:

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced shallot, capers, remaining garlic paste, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Turn off the heat. 

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked aromatics, roasted cauliflower, butter, lemon zest, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the garlic breadcrumbs and cheese. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare & roast the cauliflower:
1 Prepare & roast the cauliflower:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Fill a large pot with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut out and discard the core of the cauliflower; cut into small florets. Transfer to a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 19 to 21 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

2 Cook the pasta:

While the cauliflower roasts, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 9 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

Cook the pasta:
Prepare the remaining ingredients:
3 Prepare the remaining ingredients:

While the pasta cooks, if necessary, peel 1 clove of garlic. Finely chop the clove; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Peel the shallot; thinly slice into rounds. Zest the lemon (if you don’t have a zester, use a peeler to remove the yellow rind, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind). Quarter and deseed the lemon. 

4 Make the garlic breadcrumbs:

In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the breadcrumbs and half the garlic paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Wipe out the pan. 

Make the garlic breadcrumbs:
Cook the aromatics:
5 Cook the aromatics:

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced shallot, capers, remaining garlic paste, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Turn off the heat. 

6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked aromatics, roasted cauliflower, butter, lemon zest, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the garlic breadcrumbs and cheese. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
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