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Cauliflower Pasta with Pecorino, Grated Egg, and Pine Nuts


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Rate this recipe 4.6/5 (14 Votes)


  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 2 cups whole wheat penne
  • 2 ounces Pecorino, grated
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, or a combination of parsley and fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts


Servings 4
Adapted from


Step 1

Place eggs in a small saucepan and add cold water to cover by 2". Bring water to a boil over high heat; immediately remove from heat and let eggs sit for 9 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water. Let cool completely; peel and coarsely grate. Set aside.

Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in coriander and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onion, garlic, cauliflower, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, until cauliflower is golden brown, tender, and sweet, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook penne in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup pasta cooking water.

Return skillet with cauliflower to medium-high heat. Add reserved pasta cooking water and penne; toss gently to combine. Cook for 1 minute, then stir in reserved grated egg, cheese, parsley, and lemon zest and juice. Drizzle penne with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and season to taste with salt and more lemon zest, juice, and red pepper flakes, if desired. Divide among warm bowls and garnish with pine nuts.

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