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We did a quick recipe makeover on Jamie Oliver’s Cheese Cauliflower Pasta and the results are delicious.
- Nutrition: I used whole-wheat bread instead of sourdough. It was the ends of a loaf I already hand in the pantry. I love using all the food we have instead of buying something else. Also in this case, more fiber.
- Flavor: Since this dish is like an Italian version of our mac and cheese studded with sweet potato cheese sauce, I added basil (frozen with olive oil from our garden last summer).
- Time: I saved time by using frozen cauliflower since it’s already cut and washed and a bag of frozen onions as well. Again, already cut. And of course, we used already shredded cheese.
Tips for Making Jamie Oliver’s Cheese Cauliflower Pasta
Save time: Use frozen cauliflower and onions, plus already chopped garlic.
Reserve some cooking water to liquify the veggies.
Use whatever bread you have for the breadcrumbs but don’t skip this step. It’s delicious!
Reuse the same pan to cook your veggies. When the breadcrumbs are crispy, set them aside on a plate.
Our Simplified Take on Jamie Oliver’s Cheese Cauliflower Pasta
The recipe below calls for half a bag of cauliflower (or half a fresh head). Add more as you like.
- 3 slices bread, such as whole wheat, sourdough, etc.
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 8 ounces frozen cauliflower (half a bag shown above)
- 3 teaspoons fresh basil (about 3 leaves) or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- olive oil
- 2 onions chopped (10 ounce bag shown above)
- 1 pound dried pasta, such as shells
- 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese or Italian blend
- Make breadcrumbs: Rip up pieces of bread and put in food processor. Pulse until grainy. Add 2 teaspoons of garlic plus tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse 3-5 times until incorporated. In a large skillet on medium heat, toast the breadcrumbs until crispy, about 15 minutes.
- Cook pasta: Put a large pot of water on high. Add 3 tablespoons salt. When boiling, cook pasta according to instructions for al dente results. KEEP a cup of the pasta water to use in the sauce.
- Make sauce: Meanwhile, remove the breadcrumbs from the skillet and set aside. Use the same pan to cook the onions and cauliflower in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, basil and 1 teaspoon of salt until soft, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into the food processor, add cheese and grind on low until a paste forms. Add a little of the pasta cooking water at a time until it all comes together in a thick sauce.
- Combine everything: Pour the cheese and cauliflower sauce over the pasta and stir. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and serve.
Is cauliflower really that good for you?
Yes! Cauliflower is high in fiber, full of antioxidants and easy to add to your diet. That’s why we love Jamie Oliver’s Cheese Cauliflower Pasta so much. You just slide cauliflower into the cheese sauce. But don’t forget about all the other delicious ways to cook cauliflower for kids. My favorite is simply roasting frozen cauliflower straight from the bag.
But there are tons of other options on other sites I love. From Cauliflower Rice at Damn Delicious to Roasted Cauliflower Tacos on Sweet Potato Chronicles, cauliflower is everywhere and we’re here for it!
What goes with this dish?