Roasted Cauliflower with Spaghetti and Caramelized Onions

Cautious about eating cauliflower?  It is such a misunderstood vegetable. Childhood memories may bring back the ghastly taste of overcooked, mushy cauliflower with loads of cheese sauce over it to calm the taste buds. And then there is that smell when cauliflower is boiled, too sulfuric. No wonder it never has its culinary day in the sun.  But roast the florets, and all of a sudden, it is a new day for the appreciation of this wonderful vegetable. Roasting caramelizes the sugars, creating a sweet taste just right for serving as a side dish, or tossing with spaghetti and caramelized onions for this delectable main course. For an extraordinarily visually appealing dish, use yellow cauliflower



  • 7 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp Grinding black pepper
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cored and separated into 1-inch florets
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb penne


  1. Combine three tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the florets and toss well to coat.
  2. Spread the florets on one half of a 15 1/2 by 13-inch baking sheet
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into the same bowl and toss the onion slices to coat well. Season with salt and pepper. Spread them on the other half of the baking sheet
  4. Bake 45 minutes, turning the cauliflower and onions once or twice. The cauliflower should be tender and lightly browned; the onions should be wilted and soft. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Cook the spaghetti in four to six quarts of rapidly boiling salted water. Cook just until al dente which means when a strand is broken in half, no white flour is visible.
  6. Drain the spaghetti in a colander, reserving 2 tablespoons of the water. Transfer the spaghetti back to the cooking pot. Over low heat , stir in the reserved water, and cauliflower and onion mixture. Stir and heat everything together until hot. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a platter and sprinkle the cheese over the top.
  8. You will never say no to cauliflower again.
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