Posted by: Catherine | September 17, 2009

Cauliflower-Sausage Pasta




When it comes to simple down-home cooking, this is my go-to dish. Or, I should say: went-to. I used to make this ALL the time before I got together with Bruce and he asked me NEVER to make cauliflower. Like all good things that eventually come to an end, so went the ban on cauliflower when I was so sick of broccoli, threw caution to the wind and bought a head. I knew I had to use my wayward action wisely—no steaming, or even roasting on this maiden voyage—and I immediately thought of this pasta, which had worked its magic (who’d think this would be a great combo?) many a time during my early (read, young) cooking days in New York. Bruce always loves sausage, Emma loves pasta any which way…and I thought I’d throw in a bit of mozzarella for good measure. It worked! Now, I actually get requests for this dish…and I’ve ventured into roasting, which went over well, too.

Moral? Here’s what I took away: Don’t listen to your husband…always….

Serves 4

4 T olive oil

1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florettes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. Italian sausage (I prefer “hot”)

1 lb. fusilli

2 oz. mozzarella, shredded, for garnish; optional

Toasted pine nuts, for garnish; optional

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the cauliflower and when it starts to brown, toss in the garlic and cook for 3 minutes or so. Add the sausage, and cook, stirring until well combined.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, turn heat to low under the cauliflower mixture and continue stirring and breaking down with a spoon until it resembles a ragout.

When the pasta is finished, drain and add to the ragout. Toss well, turn onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with grated mozzarella and/or toasted pine nuts.



  1. Mmm…this looks divine. I’ll have to try using cauliflower this way! Glad to hear that roasting it went over well.

  2. Wonderful dish, yes, I prefer my Italian sausage hot as well.

  3. amazing! i’ve never had cauliflower combined with pasta, but it’s a great idea! this dish looks elegant and completely delicious–bravo!

  4. Sounds like a fantastic pasta! The combination of cauliflower & sausage must be really good, can’t wait to try!

  5. Love the idea of using cauliflower in pasta, I never know what to do with it since it does not contain much flavor 🙂

  6. wow!! love the idea!! sound fantastic!!

  7. Good job getting your family to ingest cauliflower! Looks delicious!

  8. I love cauliflower. This dish sounds so comforting, but I’d make it without the sausage. Thanks for sharing!

  9. What a great way to get your hubs to eat cauliflower! I think the dish looks incredibly yummy.

  10. I can see why this would be your “go to dish”. Pasta, sausage, cheese so comforting and satisfying. As for your cauliflower? CLEVER!

  11. This sounds lovely. Great combo sausage and pasta, how delicious. I always prefer ‘hot’ sausage too.

  12. I like the moral to this story 🙂

    Pasta looks good too.

  13. Looks awesome. I just got into cauliflower myself, I never thought to mix it with red sauce. I’m so all over that!

  14. I love the idea with the cauliflower. Sounds delish.

  15. Sounds delicious! I love throwing veggies into pasta it seems to round out the meal.

  16. Oh yum, that looks so cosy and delicious. Perfect autumn supper. And I love the moral of your story. I live by it.

  17. I like cauliflower… this dish looks so yummy.

  18. Not a big fan of cauliflower, but this looks so good!

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