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Cauliflower Orecchiette Recipe

cauliflower orecchiette recipe

I haven’t been able to eat cauliflower since I moved out of home as a teenager. I am not sure if it was a version of the claggy white sauce or the steamed-to-within-an-inch-of-sogginess that caused my dislike of this vegetable. I dislike the smell of it cooking and everything about it. Until now. I am not going to pretend I love it now because I don’t however, this dish has introduced me to it’s potential and I enjoyed it. I would make and eat this dish again.

There is no need to read through my recipe and point out that I have pretty much covered the flavour of the cauliflower with a combination of the fennel, garlic and prosciutto. It is true, I know it and I did it on purpose so I could bring myself to eat it!  The up-side is that I am now willing to try it in many more recipes and have even planted some seeds to grow some in the garden. This is something I’ve not previously grown as I thought I’d never eat it. I only ever grow food that I like to use in cooking. Mr Fresh loves cauliflower but as I do all of the cooking and look after the vegetable garden I choose what’s grown and what is for dinner.  Time to let go of old notions and move into a new time of fresher flavours and recipes to explore.

This is my recipe to turn cauliflower haters into cauliflower eaters. Creating a cheesy full-flavoured, multi-textural meal to convince your palette to try cauliflower in some other dishes and forms.

Cauliflower Orecchiette Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe will turn a cauliflower hater into a cauliflower lover. Lovely and cheesy with multiple textures it can be served as a side dish or main meal
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 4-6
  • ½ tablespoon oil
  • 1 shallot finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 80 grams prosciutto chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb finely sliced
  • ½ cauliflower - 500 grams divided into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • orecchiette pasta
  • 75 grams gruyere cheese
  • 60 grams parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley to serve
  1. Heat the oven to 160 degrees celcius
  2. Set a saucepan of water for the pasta to boil and set the oven to heat to 170 degrees celcius
  3. Heat a pan and add the cooking oil
  4. Add the shallots, garlic, prosciutto and fennel to the heated pan on the stove top and cook on low-medium heat until the fennel has softened
  5. Add the cauliflower to the oven with a drizzle of oil a generous pinch of salt few grinds of black pepper. Cook for 15 minutes then remove from the oven
  6. Once the shallots, garlic, prosciutto and fennel have cooked remove these ingredients from the pan and set aside
  7. Cook the pasta while the shallots, garlic and prosciutto and the cauliflower are cooking - under-cook it by 2 minutes
  8. Put the almonds into a dry pan and cook for a minute or two until they start to colour then remove and set aside
  9. Drain the pasta and add to a large pan that can be put into the oven
  10. Add the shallots, garlic and prosciutto and cooked cauliflower, grate half the gruyere cheese over top, stir and grate the rest over
  11. Sprinkle the almonds over top and the parmesan, add a generous pinch of salt and few grinds of black pepper
  12. Put into the oven to brown and melt the cheese for 5-10 minutes
  13. Serve with fresh parsley
cauliflower orecchiette

Are you growing cauliflower this winter? What is your favourite way to eat it?



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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Liz Posmyk June 4, 2016, 9:57 am

    Sounds great Kyrstie. I love cauliflower, always have, but enjoyed your story.

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