Pasta With Spicy Cauliflower and Walnuts 1.000

Julia Ewan - The Washington Post

Jun 3, 2009

The breezy style of this pasta recipe is perfectly suited to the solo cook. Author Deborah Madison calls for a range of amounts: 1/4 to 1/2 a head of cauliflower, "as much as you want to eat, by eye"; 2 to 4 ounces of pasta; a handful of parsley leaves; and the like. More-exact amounts are given here, but feel free to adjust according to taste. After all, you have only yourself to please.

Servings: 1
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 5 ounces) cauliflower florets, broken or cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 ounces dried whole-wheat pasta, such as penne or rigatoni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • Leaves from 2 to 4 stems of flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (1 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook for about 2 minutes or until it is just starting to become tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a bowl, then add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook until the pasta is just al dente (according to the package directions).

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for about a minute, then add the parsley, garlic, walnuts and the blanched cauliflower; stir to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low to keep the mixture warm.

When the pasta is ready, use a slotted spoon to add it to the skillet, then toss to incorporate. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle with the cheese once the portion is plated.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "What We Eat When We Eat Alone," by Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin (Gibbs Smith, 2009).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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