Baked Cavatappi with Cauliflower Recipe

Baked Cavatappi with Cauliflower Recipe

Baked Cavatappi with Cauliflower

  • icons/brand/timer copy 2 Created with Sketch. Total Time: 1 Hour, 5 Minutes
  • icons/brand/silverware copy Created with Sketch. Yield: 8 Servings


  • ½ lb. Cavatappi pasta or large shells
  • ¼ c. extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds) cut into bite sized florets
  • 1 tbsp. Minced Garlic
  • ½ tsp. Snipped Chives
  • ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Lemon Peel
  • ¼ tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 c. gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 c. extra sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • ½ c. ricotta cheese
  • ½ c. heavy cream or whole milk
  • ½ c. seasoned panko or coarse homemade breadcrumb
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 10”x13” baking dish with a bit of butter.
  2. Set a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add olive oil. When shimmering, toss cauliflower florets in oil and cook in a single layer, undisturbed, about 5 minutes—until browned. Toss and cook an additional 3 minutes, until nice and fork tender. Remove pot from the heat.
  3. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water about 5 minutes less than package directions for al dente. Drain well and pour pasta into Dutch oven along with the cauliflower. Don’t worry—it will look very undercooked and will finish cooking in the oven.
  4. In a small bowl, combine all of the spices, salt, cheeses and cream. Sprinkle half of this cheese mixture into the Dutch oven and toss well with pasta and cauliflower. The heat of the pasta will begin to melt the cheese. Spoon everything into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the rest of the cheese mixture on top along with breadcrumbs and parsley. Bake about 30 minutes until nicely browned, cheese is melty and some of the pasta has crispy edges. Let cool a few minutes before serving.