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Cauliflower Cheddar Pasta by Stephanie Olzinski, RDN

Yields4 ServingsPrep Time10 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time50 mins

Cauliflower is a healthy vegetable that offers a significant source of nutrients that your body needs. Both low in calorie and high in fiber, this vegetable makes a great addition to any pasta dish. Boost your health with the addition of tomatoes that are packed with vitamin C and other healthful nutrients and you have yourself one healthy meal that everyone will love.

Penne with marinara and Cauliflower

 1 large head of cauliflowerbroken into pieces
 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 4 tsp Celtic sea salt divided
 14 oz can whole tomatoesdrained
 4 cloves garlicminced
 ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
 ½ lb whole wheat penne pasta
  cup Parmesan cheese
 1 cup sharp cheddar cheeseshredded
 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Set oven to 400°F.


Break or chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Toss with oil and 1 tsp salt and roast in the oven on a sheet pan for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.


Remove from oven and place on a pan over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir and break up tomatoes until most of the liquid has cooked out, about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.


Drop uncooked pasta into a large saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover the noodles by 1 inch. Stir in remaining salt and place over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer and stir occasionally until the pasta is cooked al dente.


Transfer the cooked pasta into the skillet with the cauliflower mixture, saving the pasta water to put 1/4 cup of the water into the skillet. Stir all together and then add in the cheeses until melted. Garnish with Parmesan and parsley as desired.


Notes: When plating, you can mix the sauce with the pasta and cauliflower altogether and top with Parmesan cheese or you can serve the pasta and top with sauce and add cauliflower to the pasta. I also sometimes add a protein such as shrimp or chicken for a complete meal.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4