Orecchiette with Roasted Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes and Pancetta Recipe

Orecchiette with Roasted Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes and Pancetta

Load your plate with colors and layers of flavor. Perfectly roasted cauliflower florets, juicy cherry tomatoes, a slightly peppery arugula, and pancetta make this a notable pasta dish. Comfort food pure and simple, the right recipe for a pasta night.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes


  • 4 cups (400 g) cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups (400 g) cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large fresh sage leaves
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 slices pancetta or bacon, about 3 oz or baby bella mushrooms (vegetarian option)
  • 12 oz (340 g) dried orecchiette
  • 5 cups (250 g) baby arugula lightly packed
  • 3/4 cup (75 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 4 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C.

In a bowl, toss the cauliflower, tomatoes, garlic, sage, oil, sea salt, and pepper. Spread cauliflower and tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast, turning once or twice until the cauliflower begins to turn golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Remove cauliflower and tomatoes mix from the oven and keep it warm. Roast the pancetta, on the same baking sheet used for the cauliflower for about 5 minutes or until it starts to get crispy. Remove from the oven, add it to the cauliflower and tomatoes and keep it warm.

Cook the orecchiette according to package instructions or until “al dente”. Reserve 1 cup (240 ml) pasta-cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Stir in the roasted cauliflower/tomato mix, pancetta, arugula, cheese, and enough pasta water to create a creamy sauce. Adjust seasoning to taste. A drizzle of extra virgin oil, a few grinds of pepper and parsley add the extra touch.

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