Simple Is Sometimes The Most Delicious

Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine with Garlic Bechamel and Toasted Pine Nuts

Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine with Garlic Bechamel and Toasted Pine Nuts

It begins with fresh, naturally grown ingredients.  Clean flavors,  bright colors or even brilliant whites.  Like waking up to a new snow that’s settled on the frozen ground.

I like white.  Ask Ranger Craig.  He’ll tell you I have an obsession with white.  It seems every trip to Costco I come home with a package of white towels, white wash cloths, or white kitchen rags.  Last trip I came home with white bed linens.  I like white.

It’s a good thing I like white. I read recently that cauliflower is making a comeback.

A comeback?  Hmmm… I never got the memo that it left.  (Ok, I had to be a little sassy)

I’ve been preparing cauliflower for years.  Even when it wasn’t the cool veggie.  I like cauliflower.  Roasted, baked with lots of good quality cheese, steamed and mashed.  I even like it raw or fried with a spicy aioli for dipping.

Cauliflower is my inspiration for this winter white dish.  Fresh, enticing, distinctive in flavor and sporting the color of winter.  The taste of comfort… like a soft white blanket.  😉

Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine with Garlic Béchamel and Toasted Pine Nuts

This is a simple dish.  Simply flavored with its few ingredients.  To change things up I like playing with different types of cheese.  I’ve used Manchengo, a firm goats cheese, Parrano, and mixed a few other fave Italian cheeses with it as well.  If you don’t care for garlic, substitute with 1 shallot finely chopped.  🙂  Buon Appetito!

Serves 4-6 or serve as a side for grilled/roasted meats or poultry


1lb Fettuccine or Pappardelle

1 head fresh cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 Garlic cloves, minced

A squeeze of anchovy paste

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups whole milk, warmed

Squeeze of lemon

½ cup fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  Toss the trimmed cauliflower florets with the olive oil and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the cauliflower is crisp tender.  Remove from the oven and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Prepare the fettuccine according to package directions. While the fettuccine is cooking prepare the béchamel.

In a large sauce pan heat the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  When the butter is just about melted, whisk in the garlic and anchovy and gently cook until the anchovy is incorporated into the butter.  Just a few seconds to a minute.  Don’t allow the butter or garlic to brown.

Whisk in the flour and allow the flour to cook just for a minute or two, again, careful not to brown.  Slowly whisk in the warm milk and continue whisking until nicely incorporated.  As the sauce heats it will thicken.  Continue gently whisking until the sauce begins to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the roasted cauliflower and ¼ cup toasted pine nuts to the fettuccine, add a squeeze of lemon and then toss with the sauce.  The squeeze of lemon is used to elevate and bring all the flavors together in this dish.

Pour the pasta into a large serving bowl and garnish with fresh grated cheese and remaining pine nuts.  Serve immediately.

Serve as an entrée or as a side dish.

For another fun Cauliflower dish check out my Cauliflower Mashers:



  1. Looks gorgeous Karista!! Looks super delicious and warming and I LOVE the addition of cauliflower.

  2. Oh wow. Now I have to go make some food.

  3. This is beautiful! I can’t wait to try it! Do you happen to have any recommendations for a skillet that works in the oven as well as on the stove? I’ve been asking around the food-blogging universe lately, and would love to hear your opinion too. Love your blog, it’s very elegant and fun at the same time! –Nerd With Taste

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting! My preference has always been the brand All-Clad. Emeril Lagassee has a line of cookware that is made by All-Clad but it’s not quite as pricey. I’ve had my set for about 12 years and it goes from stove top to oven beautifully! Be sure the skillet is a heavy bottom skillet and preferably dual core for more even cooking. A good skillet can be pricey, but one of the best investments you’ll ever make. Also, a good quality cast iron skillet is excellent for stove top to oven. I do love Le Creuset but there are also less expensive brands that work well. If you live in the US, I’d check with Macy’s or one of your local kitchen stores. Delicious Wishes! Karista

  4. Cauliflower is making a comeback!!! This vegetable has taken the wrap for many years but you are right, it is new crave; roasted, steamed, taking the place of mash potatoes and even used as crusts for pizza. However your pure white concept looks so comforting and delicious. Maybe even my teenagers would eat their veggies if I hid in some yummy pasta like yours. Take care, BAM

    • I do love mashed cauliflower and love the idea of putting it in pizza crust! My sassy gals are fairly good at eating veggies, although my youngest picks the cauliflower out of this pasta. 😦

  5. Oh. My. Goodness!

    This looks like heaven.

    Seriously craving right now.

  6. Mmm, what a lovely, tempting dish! I’ve always been a fan of cauliflower in any form, too – especially roasted. I’d love for us to get some winter white outside to match this pasta!

    • Hahaha! I was just saying the same to another local blogger! If it’s going to be this cold we might as well have a little of the white stuff on the ground. 🙂 Happy Weekend Hannah!

  7. petit4chocolatier says:

    Truly delicious!! I love all the ingredients.

  8. This recipe makes me mouthwatering, I´m sure it tastes fantastic!

  9. I agree! Simple flavors sometimes taste was better than over-indulgent complex flavors.

  10. This looks so amazing, as always. Luckily I have a cauliflower in my fridge, I think it will be going into pasta today! And I like to learn that you’re obsessed with white–this is such a nice time of year for it, not that the weather’s cooperating. (Not that I’m complaining.) 🙂

  11. I love pasta and cauliflower…you dish sounds terrific.

  12. THIS SOUNDS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!

  13. You know I completely agree with that mantra! I love the pine nuts in this, what a lovely addition, and anchovy paste too, swoon.

    • I think anchovy makes a pasta sauce better. Sometimes I add it to my quickly prepared tomato sauce. Just to give it that long simmered intensity in flavor. Love little cheats. 🙂

  14. All Moms should love white towels…you can bleach just about anything out of them!
    (The exception is purple hair dye, as I discovered when my girls were teens…)
    Beautiful flavors in the recipe.

    • Well thank you!! I agree. And I do agree you can bleach just about anything out of them except hair dye. In my case it was pink. (my oldest gal when she was a teen). 😦

  15. Brilliant!

  16. White is pure and perfect as is your wonderful meal – scrumity!
    I think simplicity will always be the best.
    Have a beautiful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  17. This sounds delicious and I can use the cauliflower growing in my garden 🙂

  18. I’ve been seeing cauliflower everywhere this month, but I too, don’t think I ever knew that it went out of style. I absolutely love the stuff as well. Although I’ve never had it with pasta – thank you, as always, for the inspiration AND the gorgeous pictures!

    • You’re welcome Jess! I’m always reading food news/information etc. Can’t remember which publication announced the comeback of cauliflower. Kind of struck me as funny! Happy rest of the week my friend. 🙂

  19. I, too, have a love for all things white! Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies because it tastes like it should be “naughty” and filled with calories but it doesn’t:D This is a gorgeously lush recipe, Karista, you’ve done it again!! Wonderful!! xx

  20. Every time I go to Costco I come home with a cookbook. It is a dangerous place isn’t it? I would really love to give this pasta a try …and though I don’t think the ponytails would be fans of the cauliflower, I could pull out some pasta and keep it plain before I add the cauliflower in. I used to sneak puréed cauliflower into my Mac and Cheese a few years back. Your “white” pasta makes me think of the interior design features where they keep everything “tone on tone”. It looks delicious!

    • Hahaha! I have the Costco cookbook affliction as well. My youngest gal loves this pasta but doesn’t like the cauliflower either. So of course she eats around it. 😦
      I’m terrible at interior design but I do recall reading about “tone on tone”. I wish I could pull that off in my house.

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: