Charred cauliflower, crispy capers, spicy breadcrumbs and a garlicky brown butter mustard sauce creates a comforting bowl of pasta that’s easy to make and bursting with creative flavors.
Why this Pasta with Cauliflower Recipe Works
- Roasting cauliflower on high heat! Caramelizes the exterior, bringing out it’s sweetness and a touch of nuttiness.
- Breadcrumbs! They soak up the spicy oil and garlic for a more interesting finished dish
- Fried Capers! These salty, crispy, nutty and briny flavor bombs add depth of flavor to the finished dish and are an elegant and addictive garnish.
- Browning the butter! Cooking butter slowly over low heat caramelizes its milk solids giving a nutty sweetness.
- All the textures! Chewy cauliflower, crispy fried capers, crunchy breadcrumbs, coarse mustard and silky pasta ensures there’s a whole lot going on in each and every bite!
This recipe is adapted from Saveur. Ever since I posted an image of it, folks have been asking me for the recipe. But I want to be explicitly clear that this is not a Daniela original. I decided to put a post together breaking down the steps a bit more for your easy cooking pleasure!
Pappardelle is a large, broad, flat pasta. Think similar to fettucine.
It’s what I and Saveur used in the dish but any pasta variety of pasta will work.
What I do to get that epic shot: I actually twirl the pappardelle around my little fingers to get these precious little pasta nests. It’s not necessary at all for flavor. So, if you’re wondering why your pasta did fall onto the plate looking exactly like mine that’s why.
How to Make this Pasta with Cauliflower Recipe
- Break up your cauliflower into florets and roast it
- Cook capers
- Cook breadcrumbs
- Brown butter
- Make mustard brown butter sauce
- Cook and drain pasta
- Add pasta to brown butter sauce with half the breadcrumbs and parsley
- Garnish all with cauliflower, capers, rest breadcrumbs and parsley
- When possible, buy local or organic cauliflower.
- If you don’t feel like making fresh breadcrumbs (even though it’s easy!) store bought or panko can be used instead.
- Be sure to let those breadcrumbs properly brown to get maximum crunchiness.
- Salt that pasta water so it tastes like the sea. That’s more salt than ya think you need!
- To receive that perfect al dente pasta, undercook it by a few minutes! Cause continue cooking in the brown butter mustard pan sauce.
Stoked on pasta? Me too! Check out my Cherry Tomato Confit & Burrata Pasta.
Have ya tried this recipe? I’d love to hear about it and see it too! Please leave a comment below and take a pic and tag it on Instagram with #wavesinthekitchen. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more colorfully delicious food and all sorts of awesome adventures!
Let’s make waves in the kitchen!
Garlicky Pasta with Cauliflower, Capers Breadcrumbs and a Mustard Brown Butter Pan Sauce
- 1 head cauliflower cut into small florets
- 3 ⁄4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 ⁄3 cup capers drained
- 3 ⁄4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
- 10 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 ⁄3 cup whole grain mustard
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb. pappardelle pasta
- 1 ⁄4 cup roughly chopped parsley
- Pre-heat oven on broil.
- Toss cauliflower florets with 2 tbsp. oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet; broil until charred and tender, 8–10 minutes.
- Heat 1⁄3 cup oil in a high-sided skillet over medium-high. Cook capers until crisp, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer capers to paper towels to drain.
- Cook breadcrumbs and chili flakes in the same skillet until crisp, 3–4 minutes; transfer to a plate.
- Wipe skillet clean and melt butter over medium; cook until butter is a deep golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Stir in mustard, salt, and pepper; transfer to a bowl. Add remaining oil to skillet; heat over medium-high. Cook garlic, salt, and pepper until golden, 3-4 minutes.
- Bring a large saucepan of very salted water to a boil. Check out pasta package for cooking times. Cook a few minutes before the it reaches dente status; times will vary based on pasta.
- Drain pasta; add to skillet with half the reserved breadcrumbs, all the mustard butter, and half the parsley; toss.
- Top with reserved cauliflower florets; garnish with reserved capers and the remaining breadcrumbs and parsley.