Spaghettini with Cauliflower Pesto

Cook, Meat-Free Mains, Recipes, Weeknight Dinner

This pesto is probably unlike any other you have tried. Too often, cauliflower gets boiled, or slathered with cheese and broiled — here, we’ve elevated it to a much higher level. Charring it brings out a delicious nutty flavor that works perfectly with pasta.


Spaghettini with Cauliflower Pesto


1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch florets

Sea salt and ground pepper

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup almonds, toasted

2 Tbs. capers

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. spaghettini

1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese


Preheat a stove-top grill pan over high heat.


Season cauliflower florets with salt and pepper. Place on a grill pan and cook, turning occasionally, until well charred on all sides, 6-8 minutes. Transfer cauliflower to a food processor and add olive oil, parsley, almonds, capers and garlic. Pulse until mixture is well combined but still coarse. Set aside.


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghettini and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until pasta is al dente, according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss with cauliflower pesto and Parmesan. Serve at once. Serves 4-6.

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