Whole Wheat Penne and Cauliflower

Whole Wheat Penne and Cauliflower
  • 4Servings


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup grated pecorino-romano or extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch watercress or 1 packed cup spinach, chopped


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, if using, and cook until the fat renders, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower, onion, garlic and rosemary; season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add the stock and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Add the pasta and cheese and toss. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with the watercress.