September 11, 2013, Italian Cuisine, Primi piatti, Puglia, Recipe, Vegetables, Vegetarian Recipes

Cauliflower pasta

Pasta e cavolfiore alle pugliese
Cauliflower pasta is a traditional Puglian recipe which rarely makes an appearance in cookbooks although it is a frequent guest on most dinner tables.

Perhaps it is too simple to write down, but I still find it extraordinary. Especially due to the combination of cauliflower with tomato. That way there is a tasty low-fat alternative to the rich cheesy sauces normally paired with cauliflower.

In the photos I have used green cauliflower which is very popular in Italy, though hard to find in northern Europe. White cauliflower can be used instead, as cauliflower pasta looks better in red and white.

1 small cauliflower
250 ml tomato puré
1 clove of garlic
Fresh oregano or parsley
200 g trofie, orecchiette or other kind of short pasta
Salt, pepper and olive oil

Wash the cauliflower and separate it into smaller bouquets.
Dice the stem finely.
Chop garlic and fresh oregano/parsley
Sauté garlic with oregano/parsley in olive oil for a few minutes before adding the tomato puré.
Leave the tomato sauce to simmer over low heat
Bring a casserole of salted water to the boil
Add cauliflower to the water and let it boil for 7 minutes
The pasta can be boiled along with the cauliflower. Just check how long time in needs on the package.
Drain the cauliflower and pasta when done and mix with the tomato sauce.
Sprinkle cauliflower pasta with fresh oregano or parsley before serving.

Alternatives to cauliflower pasta

Cauliflower salad with peppers and olives

Raw cauliflower salad

Cream of cauliflower soup with truffle oil

cauliflower pasta

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September 11, 2013 4:51 pm


I bet that is wonderful!

September 15 2013 19:50 pm


Very nice and fulfilling yes:)

September 11, 2013 8:29 pm


Great! A trick I learned from a super chef here, and which later I learned is normal procedure in la France: when you add the tomato paste to the HOT oil (olive) you move it around until it gets hot and dark, immediately off the heat and add liquit… passierte tomaten… maybe a little bullion… the simmering should be done over a very LOW heat. Add a few drops of lemon or vinegar if you can’t add a some diced tomato, this will replace the acid lost when tomatoes are processed into paste or… passiert… (I’m xlating from the French ’cause I cook in that language… hope my English not that bad! Ciao, Bella!

September 15 2013 19:52 pm


Thanks a lot for a great tip. It's the same kind of trick used to make roux from scratch, but I can see it should work with tomatoes as well, so I'm definitely going to use it.

September 13, 2013 6:38 am


Yummy! :)

September 15, 2013 8:39 am

Fiona Maclean

It does indeed look splendid, I’m keen to visit puglia and very interested in the food!

September 15 2013 19:54 pm


You won't be disappointed.

October 3, 2013 3:17 am


What an interesting combo! I would never think of tomato sauce with cauliflower but it does look good.

October 03 2013 16:58 pm


I've been avoiding it for years for the same reason, but it is surprisingly good.

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