February 20, 2024

Crispy Caper + Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

Crispy Caper + Roasted Cauliflower Pasta
Crispy Caper + Roasted Cauliflower Pasta is a perfect weeknight meal that has tons of flavor and is easy to accommodate picky eaters! Pasta of your choice is tossed in a buttery, garlicky, salty sauce (using anchovies as the secret ingredient) topped with crispy golden cauliflower, salty crunchy capers and a nice punch of acidity from lemon zest.  All of this is done in one pot – aside from the sheet pan used to roast the cauliflower.  If you have picky eaters, just set aside some pasta for them before adding the capers, cauliflower and parsley, and nobody will guess that you used anchovy paste, but they will thank you for such an addictive dinner! Are you looking for more pasta recipes? Check out some of my favorites!
Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta 
Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp + Pasta
One Pan Chicken Pot Pie Pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 lb dried Gemelli pasta, or pasta of your choice  
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper 
  • 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 tbsp butter  
  • 3 tbsp capers, rinsed 
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch of crushed red pepper
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Toss cauliflower with salt, pepper, and 3 tbsp olive oil. Place the cauliflower in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan and roast in preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  • In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta 1 minute less than the package instructions so it is al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water.
  • Drain the pasta and set aside.
  • When the cauliflower is done, heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in the same pot that you cooked the pasta.  
  • Add capers, and cook until crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove capers with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, anchovy paste, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring often until garlic is lightly golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add pasta, lemon zest,1 cup reserved cooking water and 2 tbsp cheese.  Toss to coat until shiny. Add the roasted cauliflower and toss again.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with crispy capers, remaining 2 tablespoons cheese, and parsley. 
Keyword kid-friendly, pasta, vegetarian
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