This recipe is a variation of the Pasta e Broccoli Profumata in the June 2012 issue of La Cucina Italiana. This version makes 8 plus servings.


2 tbs olive oil
2 cups frozen chopped onion, defrosted and patted dry
20 oz (1 bag) frozen cauliflower florets
20 oz (1 bag) frozen broccoli florets
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 box Barilla rigatoni
1/2 box Barilla mini rigatoni
5 oz shredded parmesan, romano, and asiago cheese blend
2 oz shaved parmesan
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 tbs butter

How I Made It

Cook the onion in the oil in a non-stick skillet over low heat until golden. While the onion sautes, cook the cauliflower in boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain and set aside in a bowl. When the onions are done, add the cauliflower, cinnamon, cloves, and a dash or two of black pepper to the skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes and then remove from heat.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box. When it is about 4 minutes from al dente, add the broccoli and cook until done.  Drain the pasta and broccoli.

In a large oven-proof serving bowl, combine the cauliflower mixture with the pasta and broccoli. Add the shredded cheese blend and combine thoroughly. Top with shaved parmesan and breadcrumbs, then dot the top with the butter.  Put in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes or until you’re ready to serve (note: I had finished off the pork cutlets I’m posting tomorow in a 475 degree oven, so I just turned the oven off and put the pasta in for about 10 minutes).

How It Turned Out

Cinnamon and cloves are seasonings I usually associate with dessert and holidays, but with the onion and cheese and vegetables, it made for a flavorful side dish. My favorite toddler and my favorite vegetarian both gave this dish a thumbs up.