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Baked Pasta With Roasted Cauliflower and White Beans

Baked Pasta With Roasted Cauliflower and White Beans 4.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Mar 7, 2016

Few things satisfy like the cheesy-starchy combo in baked pasta, and this one gets extra nutrition and heartiness from roasted cauliflower and white beans.

Make Ahead: The roasted cauliflower and the cooked pasta can each be refrigerated for up to 5 days before you proceed with the recipe. Bring to room temperature before baking.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • 1 large head cauliflower (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • One 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes and their juices, preferably fire-roasted, such as Muir Glen brand
  • One 15-ounce can (1 1/2 cups) no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 ounces dried penne or rigatoni pasta
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) smoked cheddar cheese, shredded or grated (may substitute smoked Gouda or smoked mozzarella)
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove and discard the cauliflower core and leaves. Break the florets into bite-size pieces. (You should have about 6 cups.) Toss the florets with the oil and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large (10-to-12-inch) cast-iron or other heavy, ovenproof skillet. Roast, stirring a time or two, until the cauliflower is lightly browned and barely tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch or two of salt.

Once the cauliflower is done, transfer the skillet to the stove top, over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes; cook until the garlic is tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes plus their juices, and the beans. Cook until they are heated through, a few minutes, then remove from the heat.

Add the pasta to the boiling water; cook according to the package directions (just until al dente). Use a large slotted spoon or skimmer to scoop out the cooked pasta, letting it drain before transferring it to the skillet mixture. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and smoked cheddar cheeses; taste, and add salt as needed. Top with the bread crumbs.

Return the skillet to the oven; bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let the baked pasta cool for 5 minutes before scooping it into individual bowls for serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown on

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 360

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 11g 17%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 25mg 8%

Sodium: 650mg 27%

Total Carbohydrates: 49g 16%

Dietary Fiber: 7g 28%

Sugar: 5g

Protein: 17g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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