Cauliflower Pasta with Pecorino, Grated Egg, and Pine Nuts

Serving Size: 4

Inspired by the Sicilian approach to cauliflower (but without the expensive saffron), this pasta gets its distinctive, delicious taste from slowly caramelizing the cauliflower in a skillet until the vegetable turns musky sweet. Pecorino sharpens up the pasta, and the addition of grated eggs gives it a satisfying richness.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (or more)
  • 0.33 coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, or a combination of parsley and fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Ounce grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 cup whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 0.75 tsp kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds each), cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 4 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1.5 tsp ground coriander
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 0.5 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more)


  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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, cook penne in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup pasta cooking water.
  4. 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.

Recipe Credit: Sara Dickerman
Image Credit: Sarah Flotard