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Cacio e Pepe (with Cauliflower)

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Cacio e Pepe (with Cauliflower)

Active Time: 20 minutes   |   Total Time: 45 minutes   |   Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1 pound spaghetti or bucatini

Heat the oven (with the oven rack in the middle) to 425°F.

Cut the cauliflower into florets (about 8 cups) and put them on a large rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Roast 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown at the edges. Let cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a food processor or blender, puree the cauliflower until smooth (you should get about 1¼ cups). Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the Parmesan and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining the pasta into a colander. Return the pasta to the pot.

Stir in ¾ cup of the reserved pasta water into the cauliflower mixture, then pour the mixture over the pasta. Stir well until the Parmesan is melted. Add a little more pasta water to make it more creamy, if necessary.

Serve topped with a little more Parmesan and pepper.

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