A Bite of Spring: Cauliflower and Caper Pasta

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Photo by Sandra Ramos

Photo by Sandra Ramos


Growing up I only ate raw cauliflower drowned in ranch dressing or boiled within an inch of its life dripping in cheese sauce. I had no idea how glorious cauliflower could be or that it came in so many shapes and sizes.

A few years ago, a local chef made me a cauliflower pasta dish and I suddenly understood the beauty of cauliflower. I love it roasted, in curries and in pasta with briny capers, salty parmesan cheese and a few spicy red pepper flakes. If you get a little crazy and buy the purple or Romanesco (the green pyramid shaped cauliflower) you can create a truly beautiful spring dish that will have your guests begging for more.


Tip: use a light touch (don’t bear down hard) with a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese into thin strips, rather than your typical grated cheese.

Cauliflower and Caper Pasta

Serves 4

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


2 tbps olive oil

1 pound of cauliflower

1/4 cup capers

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp red pepper flakes

12 ounces of pasta

2 ounces parmesan

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and garlic and sauté for 7-8 minutes until the cauliflower. Add the capers and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.

While the cauliflower is cooking, cook the pasta in boiling water according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving a 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Combine the pasta, reserved pasta water and cauliflower mixture. Season with the salt and red pepper flakes, then shave the parmesan onto the pasta.

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