Penne with roasted cauliflower

Total Time
40 min
10 min
15 min
We love this easy, hearty, whole wheat penne pasta recipe because it features such a variety of flavors and textures, from crispy, salty pancetta to browned and softened cauliflower, fresh flat-leaf parsley, briny capers, and canned diced tomatoes. After you let the pancetta and cauliflower soften and get to know each other in the oven, you simply add the drained tomatoes and toss it all together to form a hearty, pleasantly chunky sauce. You can substitute broccoli for the cauliflower or whatever herbs you like for the parsley to keep this versatile recipe on rotation as a satisfying, go-to weeknight meal.



2 oz, diced (about 1/3 cup)

Frozen cauliflower florets

12 oz, (1 bag), fresh, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz, with basil and oregano, drained, juice reserved

Uncooked whole wheat penne

8 oz

Fresh parsley

2 Tbsp, flat-leaf, chopped


1 Tbsp, drained and coarsely chopped

Kosher salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Sprinkle pancetta on heavy rimmed baking sheet; spread cauliflower on top to form single layer. Roast until pancetta is crisp and cauliflower is browned, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven; add drained tomatoes and toss gently to combine.
  3. Meanwhile, cook penne according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Add cauliflower mixture, reserved tomato juice, parsley, capers, salt, and pepper to penne; gently toss until mixed well. Divide cauliflower-pasta mixture evenly among 6 plates or large shallow bowls.
  4. Per serving: 1 1/3 cups