Penne with Cauliflower, Fresh Tomato and Cream

Penne al Cavolfiore

Total Time from Start to Finish: 50 minutes


  • ¾ pound cauliflower, leaves and stem removed
  • cup yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled and ½-inch diced
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound penne
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, cover, and place over high heat. When the water boils, add the cauliflower and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. While the cauliflower is cooking, peel and finely chop the onion. Lift the cauliflower out of the pot and cut into ¾-inch pieces. Save the water in the pot to cook the pasta in later and keep over low heat.
  2. Put the butter and onion, and crushed red pepper in a 12-inch skillet and place over medium heat. Sauté until the onion turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes. the onion turns a rich golden color. Add the cauliflower and season generously with salt. Sauté until the cauliflower is lightly browned about 10 minutes.
  3. While the cauliflower is Sautéing, peel the tomatoes and cut into ½-inch dice Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until the liquid the tomatoes release has reduced.
  4. Raise the heat under the pot of water and when it comes back up to a boil add 2 tablespoons salt and the penne, and stir well. Cook until al dente.
  5. When the tomatoes are ready, add the cream to the pan with the cauliflower and cook until it has reduced by about a third. When the penne are cooked al dente drain and toss with the sauce and the grated Parmigiano cheese. Serve at once.

Also good with: