January 2019 | The Honest Spoon

Rustic Cauliflower Pasta.JPG

In December we had a pot luck Holiday party and I brought this as my “Main” dish. In our group we have a vegetarian and a vegan so I wanted to bring a something everyone could enjoy. To be honest, I almost made something else. I wasn't sure how everyone would react to a pasta with Cauliflower, Raisins, Pine Nuts and then a bread crumb topping. It’s not your everyday “common” pasta dish and I was on the fence…

But guess what? It was a HUGE HIT!! Everyone asked if this recipe was on the blog and I told them the truth- this pasta might be one of the tastiest things you’ve ever tried- but it’s not pretty. Blogs kinda demand “pretty” food. I know it’s LAME but it’s the truth!! HOWEVER, by popular demand, it’s here in all it’s glory.


A friend of mine and I were talking at the party and she said something- “had I seen this recipe I would have skipped the raisins and passed on the toasted breadcrumbs- but IT’S THE BEST PART”. You see, this is another reason why I hesitated with this post- you REALLY don't want to skip the raisins, the pine nuts, and especially not the breadcrumbs. All those textures and flavors really round out the dish and you want them here! I BEG you- try it with everything the first time. If it doesn't float your boat- skip it next time.

I can tell you this- this pasta is a crowd pleaser!! If you need a gluten free version I HIGHLY recommend the Barilla Gluten Free pasta. This pasta is best with a tube style pasta and Barilla sells a gluten Free penne and it is REALLY good. I just recommend you check the cook time. To get the right texture I cooked it a bit longer than package instructions.

Can you imagine? A MAIN DISH that is Vegan AND Gluten Free?? Seems to good to be true, but it’s real!!!


| Serves 6 |


  • 1 pound (one box) cooked Barilla Rigatoni (for Gluten Free- Barilla Gluten Free Penne)

  • 2 small heads of cauliflower- rinsed and chopped into large pieces

  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped small

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

  • 1/2-3/4 C extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 plain breadcrumbs (for gluten free, used gluten free bread crumbs)

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


1. In a large pot or large shallow non stick skillet, cover chopped cauliflower with water, add teaspoon of salt, place lid and bring to a low boil. Cook under fork tender. About 15 minutes. Strain and set aside.

2. Sauté Onion and 1/2 cup olive oil in a large nonstick skillet until just starting to achieve a light golden color. (Do not brown onion.) turn heat to lowest setting and add cooked cauliflower, raisins, and pine nuts. Use a potato masher to break down cauliflower into small pieces. Texture should be small and rustic. If the mixture is too dry, add 1/4 cup olive oil. Cover and simmer on the lowest setting for 15-20minutes.

2. Start pasta and cook according to package instructions.

3. In a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil on low heat. Add breadcrumbs and stir constantly until golden brown. Set aside.

4. Add 1 lb cooked & drained pasta to sauté pan with cauliflower. Stir and serve immediately. Top with toasted breadcrumbs.

Leave your comments. I am interested to know what you think!!