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.
Table of Contents
- 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.