Linguine with cauliflower and crushed croutons

Total Time
17 min
7 min
10 min
Fresh, flavorful, and fast: This entrée is evidence of how good weeknight cooking can be, and it’s ready in less than 20 minutes. The recipe uses some smart shortcuts, such as partially cooking the pasta and then adding the cauliflower to the pasta water so it can do double-duty on two of the major components of the meal. While the pasta and cauliflower are finishing, you sauté the shallots and garlic to give this dish some oomph, and then top each serving with Parmesan, fresh herbs, and crushed croutons for some welcome crunch. Want to add a little heat? Add a generous pinch of red pepper flakes to the pasta mixture in step 2.


Uncooked whole wheat pasta

8 oz, linguine variety

Uncooked cauliflower

6 cup(s), florets

Olive oil

2 tsp

Uncooked shallot(s)

2 medium, minced


2 medium clove(s), minced

Table salt

¼ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp

Fat-free packaged croutons

½ cup(s), multigrain, coarsely crushed

Fresh parsley

¼ cup(s), fresh, chopped

Grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp, Romano variety


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until almost al dente, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower to the pot and return the water to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta and cauliflower are tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta, cauliflower, salt, pepper, and the reserved cooking liquid; toss to coat evenly.
  3. Transfer the pasta mixture to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the croutons, parsley, and Romano. Yields 1 3/4 cups per serving.