Friday, May 20, 2011

Orecchiette with Cauliflower, Sausage and White Beans

Pasta is my all time favorite food. I’d pass up a juicy steak any day for big bowl of pasta. What can I say? I’m a carb girl. The other night I combined Gina’s healthy weight watchers recipe for Pasta with Cauliflower with Giada’s recipe for Orecchiette with Sausage, Beans, and Mascarpone. I seem to have a talent for taking “healthy” recipes and making them not so healthy…

I bought my Orecchiette at Trader Joe’s and although penne will always be my favorite pasta shape, I’m a fan. This ear shaped pasta is cute and delicious! I stirred in some arugula in at the end to give the dish a little color.

Orecchiette with Cauliflower, Italian Sausage and White Beans

1 pound Orecchiette pasta
1 onion, chopped
Olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
1 pound Italian Sausage
5 anchovies
1 jar large Greek white beans (available at Trader Joe’s and specialty food stores)
1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Arugula or spinach, a few handfuls
Pecorino Romano cheese, to taste

Bring salted water to a boil to use for the cauliflower and pasta.

Caramelize onions in olive oil with a little salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and brown sugar. Add sausage and break it up while cooking. Add anchovies (don’t worry, they’ll dissolve) and white beans.

Meanwhile, blanch cauliflower in boiling water. Remove it and add to sausage mixture and bring water back to a boil for the pasta.

Toast the bread crumbs in a small dry frying pan, be careful not to burn and set aside.

Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.

Toss pasta with sausage, onion, bean and cauliflower mixture. If it's dry, add in some of the reserved water. Add in toasted bread crumbs and a few handfuls of arugula. Divide onto plates and top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.


  1. Yum...this sounds so good. I'm a pasta girl too. I think I'll give this a try on Tuesday night! Maybe I'll even whip up some dessert and try out the rhubarb bars (I'm not sure I've ever had rhubarb, but I'll take your word that it's good!)!

  2. Yum! That looks fantastic- although, Adam hates nearly all vegetables including cauliflower! I love the pasta/bean combination. I will give it a shot!

  3. I love that you combined two recipes and made a yummy one of your own! :)Pasta RULES.

  4. Pasta and Italian sausage, you really can't go wrong. You even managed to get those superfood anchovies in there. The ingredient list looks yummy!

  5. Yum!!! Sounds (and looks!) delicious!