Pasta with Garlic, Scallions, Cauliflower & Bread Crumbs

I was stuck at home all day yesterday, while we were having some work done on the house (we were getting central air conditioning installed; I can't live on cold cucumber avocado soup all summer!). Because we'd been away for a few days beforehand, we didn't really have much in the way of food. So I had to throw something together from what we had on hand. I call it "shopping your pantry." That's how this pasta dish was born.

Pasta and bread crumbs may sound a bit heavy to you. Actually, the bread crumbs are light and toasty and add a nice crunch. Plus, the cauliflower (you know I'm obsessed with this cruciferous delightlends a non-carby element to balance this summery dish. I used frozen cauliflower, but feel free to use fresh. Just cut it into small pieces, so it'll cook through in the skillet; you may have to add a bit more liquid to cook it—use your judgement.

yield: we got two big bowls for dinner plus one small bowl that I consumed for breakfast 
  • 1T butter
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I used panko)
  • about 2T grated cheese (I used romano)
  • 6-8 ounces pasta (I used linguine)
  • 1-2T extra virgin olive oil
  • about 2 cups frozen cauliflower florets, thawed, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 2-3T white wine
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • couple of pinches red pepper flakes, optional

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat until foamy. Then add bread crumbs, tossing to coat in butter, until toasted and lightly browned. Remove from pan into small bowl; mix in cheese and about a tablespoon of the green scallion tops.

In the meantime, begin to prepare your pasta according to the directions on the package. While the pasta is cooking, put about a tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan you used for the bread crumbs. Over medium heat, add the garlic, whites of the scallions, and cauliflower to the skillet. Saute until the cauliflower shows some caramelization. Then add the wine until the florets are tender-crisp. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

When pasta is just shy of al dente, reserve about a cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the skillet—still over medium heat—with the veggies and toss with some pasta water, as necessary (I added a little at a time; I ended up using about 1/2 cup), till the pasta is coated and turns easily. You may want to add another little drizzle of olive oil. Again, taste and season accordingly.

Put into serving bowls and top with the bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle some more scallion greens on top. 

That's it! There's cauliflower in every bite. And that's a great thing.

Do you ever "shop your pantry?"


  1. I always have some kind of grain or pasta in the pantry, so as long as I have a vegetable somewhere in the fridge, I can shop the pantry too!
    By the way, your photos look great! They look more professional or something... Artful lighting, etc.

  2. I shop in the pantry for a substitute ingredient or if making a salad but rarely do a whole meal winging it. I don't think I am as skilled as you are, this looks great. 

  3. Thanks, that's very generous of you to say. I'm sure it's not true, but I'll take it ;-)

  4. Thanks, i'm learning to play around with filters (especially when the natural light isn't cooperating!).

  5. Cauliflower - my new goddess!  this looks wonderful.

  6. I'm semi-obsessed with cauliflower...Hope you enjoy!

  7. Also shared at the Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen linky:

  8. Beth @ Aunt B's KitchenJuly 9, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    This looks really good.  I have some cauliflower in the fridge right now.  I'm thinking supper tomorrow!

  9. Woo-hoo! If you try it, come back and let us know how you like it :-)

  10. Bobbi Renee Hass-BurlesonJuly 16, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Good Morning :) just wanted to let you know that your post from last week's Manic Monday is feature this week. Come on by and share again 

  11. Beth @ Aunt B's KitchenJuly 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I did try it, with crumbs made from the focaccia we had for Monday night's supper.  It was delicious.  I've included a link to this post in my "What We Ate" blog post today.  Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  12. Fabulous, thanks so much Bobbi!

  13. Thanks so much for trying it and for linking to us! Focaccia bread crumbs sound divine...

  14. Shared at Family Fresh Meals:

  15. Jenn from Much to My DelightMarch 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    YUM! This looks awesome. Definitely making it. Also obsessed with cauliflower.

  16. Yippee, hope you like it!

  17. yes, always shop my pantry, just made some stuffed peppers with veggie/chick pea burgers and rice,peppers and red onions and topped with some mozzerella cheese, so good. call it kitchen magic. lol.such fun. pasta dish sounds great and also with brocclee too. :)

  18. This was BEYOND fabulous! My kids scarfed down the cauliflower like it was candy!


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