Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Lemon Zest

Good evening, gentle reader! (Continuing the theme of sharing my gross childhood eating habits…) When I was little, one of my very favorite things to eat was straight up buttered noodles mixed with huge spoonfuls of cottage cheese.  Have you heard of this? I’m not sure how my parents thought of it, or if it’s a legitimate meal all across the country, but when I mention this noodle + cottage cheese combo to people now they typically react with undisguised horror. Poor cottage cheese gets a bad rap, I think.  A lot of people just don’t like those milky little curds! Well, anyway, this is my grown-up replacement for that comforting bowl of buttery noodles and cheese.  It is totally delicious, and wonder-of-wonders, it has vegetables in it! Martha’s original recipe calls for half a box (8 oz) of orecchiette pasta, but I just use the full pound.  Because yay for noodles! Really, give this dish a try- it’s a great weeknight meal!
Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Lemon Zest
from the ever delightful Martha Stewart
  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into very small florets
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 16 ounces dried orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss together cauliflower, onion, capers, and 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. 
Spread vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Roast, stirring halfway through, until cauliflower is tender and browned, about 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add
 pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain.
  4. Toss hot pasta with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the parsley,
 and lemon zest. Add cauliflower mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.

One thought on “Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Lemon Zest

  1. Mom April 6, 2011 / 12:22 am

    I ate buttered noodles with cottage cheese as a kid and it seemed a very natural thing to do. Yummy! I think I got it from my sister.

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