We love this creamy cauliflower pasta recipe served with crispy bacon and fried sage leaves. It’s a delicious, easy weeknight dinner but is elevated enough to serve at a dinner party or when you want to impress.
- Cauliflower. I used fresh cauliflower but frozen will work too.
- Olive oil.
- Chicken broth/chicken stock. Vegetable stock can be used too.
- Fresh garlic cloves.
- Sage. I used both dried and fresh sage. Other herbs like thyme, chives, parsley and oregano will also be delicious.
- Salt and black pepper.
- Rigatoni pasta. This recipe will work with any pasta shape of your choice.
- Parmesan cheese.
How to make creamy cauliflower pasta
Slice the cauliflower florets off of the heads and chop the stalks. Place in a large roasting tray then drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt. Roast in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes until soft and caramelized. Transfer the cooked cauliflower to a blender or food processor and blend with the broth/stock and milk or cream until smooth.
To make the sauce, cook the bacon in a large skillet or deep pan until crisp and golden. If the bacon has rendered a lot of fat, pour most of it off, leaving only a tablespoon or two. Add the garlic and dried sage and cook for another minute then pour in the cauliflower mixture. Thin out the sauce with a splash of milk or broth if needed. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce along with a splash of the pasta cooking water then serve the pasta with fried sage leaves (optional).
Can I make this ahead?
The creamy cauliflower pasta sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept in the fridge in an airtight container. Simply cook the bacon and garlic then add the pre-made sauce. It can also be frozen in freezer bags or containers for up to 3 months. Any leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheated with a splash of water or stock in the microwave oven.
Cauliflower pasta recipes
Creamy cauliflower pasta with bacon
For the creamy cauliflower pasta sauce
- 6 cups cauliflower (2 small heads)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup chicken broth / chicken stock
- 1 cup milk/cream
For the pasta
- 250 g (½lb) bacon chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- ½ tsp dried sage
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 500 g (1lb) rigatoni pasta
- fried sage leaves to serve (optional)
- To prepare the cauliflower, slice the florets off the heads and chop the stalks.
- Place the cauliflower in a roasting pan or baking dish then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
- Place in an oven that has been pre-heated to 200°C/390°F and roast for 20-30 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender and starting to caramelize.
- Remove the cauliflower from the oven then transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the broth/stock and milk or cream. Blend until smooth.
- In a large skillet or deep pan, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove excess bacon grease, leaving 1-2tbsp in the pan.
- Add the garlic and dried sage and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant then pour in the creamy cauliflower sauce.
- If too thick, add a splash of milk or broth. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes then add the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water then drain the pasta.
- Add the cooked pasta to the cauliflower sauce along with a few tablespoons of pasta water.
- Toss to coat the pasta in the sauce then serve with fried sage leaves.
You say to cook the cauliflower in the oven then roast, after roading blend with other ingredients until smooth, but on the photo you have roasted cauliflower in the final dish. ?
I just added a few extra roasted florets for the photo but normally blend all of the cauliflower into the sauce.