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Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon & Breadcrumbs

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The dish is topped with a crunchy and flavorful bacon-panko crumb mixture and given a flourish of fresh lemon juice. This is a perfect weeknight dinner that's ALMOST meatless (given the bacon). This recipe is a keeper.

Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (15 Votes)

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower (3 pounds), cored and cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 pound campanelle pasta (I used farfalle)
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • NOTE: Since I had a small head of cauliflower, I halved all of the ingredients, which yielded 4 servings.

Details

Servings 4
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 40mins
Adapted from afeastfortheeyes.net

Preparation

Step 1

BACON PANKO TOPPING:
Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add panko and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until panko is well browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer panko mixture to bowl and wipe out skillet.

CAULIFLOWER:
Heat 5 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.

Add cauliflower and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is crisp-tender and browned in spots, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

PASTA:
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.

Add onion, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened, 4 to 7 minutes. Increase heat to high, add pasta, broth, and wine, and bring to simmer.

Cook pasta, stirring frequently, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove pot from heat; stir in parsley, lemon juice, and cauliflower; and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve, passing panko mixture and lemon wedges separately.

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