Cauliflower is the new ? Help me complete that sentence would you? 🙂  Start out with a blank canvas and the sky’s the limit on the variety of dishes you can cook with cauliflower.  I’ve riced cauliflower, made a pizza base, curried it, steamed it, made many vegetarian dishes with it, but had never cooked it with pasta.  Of course it defeats the purpose of adding pasta to a low-carb dish, but believe me on this one, it was absolutely amazing, probably a ton of calories in it too, but hey, one’s allowed to stray off the path sometimes eh?

One of its high nutritional aspects is the elevated daily value of vitamin C it produces in one sitting.  It’s also a good source of vitamin K, magnesium and fibre to name a few.  I liked roasting the cauliflower and carrots on high heat in the oven before adding it to the dish.  It gives it a nice caramelized finish.  You can use any kind of cheese instead of fontina mentioned in the recipe.  I had a sharp cheddar, but I’m sure fontina would take it up to a whole new level.

Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Ziti


  • 2 large cauliflower heads, cut into florets
  • 3 large carrots, cleaned
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk, heated
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 oz. fontina cheese, shredded
  • chopped parsley


  1. To make the roasted cauliflower, heat oven to 425 deg F.  Toss cauliflower florets and sliced carrots on a large baking sheet with 1/4 cup olive oil.  Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast, tossing occasionally, until florets are caramelized and tender about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons butter.  In a large bowl, toss bread crumbs with melted butter and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.  Set aside.
  3. Heat oven to 350 deg F.  Cook pasta according to package and set aside.
  4. In a large oven proof dish over low heat, melt remaining butter.  Add the flour and whisk until a smooth paste forms, about 5 minutes.  Slowly whisk in the hot milk, stirring continuously until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Stir in the salt, garlic powder, onion, powder, nutmeg, Italian seasoning and smoked paprika.  Add the fontina and stir until melted, about 3 minutes.  Stir in remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  Add cooked pasta and roasted vegetables.  Stir to combine.
  5. Remove pan from stovetop.  Sprinkle bread crumb mixture on top.  Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is slightly golden.  Sprinkle chopped parsley.


25 Replies to “Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Ziti”

  1. I love roasted cauliflower and combined with fontina and parmesan….Yum! Your photos as always are so inviting! Love that pan. I have a similar one that I should use. My basement finishing project has got me off track with blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sandhya. Yes, I remember you telling me about the paella pan. I’m actually going to use it again this weekend as we have a group of people over for dinner and I will be making seafood paella. Ahh a basement project eh? What are you doing?


  2. “Craze”‘ – that’s the word you’re looking for along with kale and some other veggie (I can’t remember). Rich with all that butter but healthy with two of my favorite veggies. Wouldn’t have thought to pair carrots with cauliflower. Looks like this is on my “to make” list Loretta 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, yes you’re right Judi, I think kale would fill in that blank nicely! Thanks! Cauliflower is the new kale! I like that, it has a nice ring to it. Perhaps I should edit my post now 🙂 Yes, the butter and cheese, that’s why I said sinful, but once in a while I guess we’re allowed to please our tastebuds? I just added carrots for color and extra crunch. The cauliflower had a nice crunch to it as well with the grilled bits.


  3. That is so damn delicious. I recently visited a place called Saputara where I saw fresh cauliflower in fields growing in huge numbers.. picked a huge one for home. Having been making so much with it since then… Fresh food and good food always works for the body.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, cauliflower. I liked it before it became “the” vegetable, as I’m sure you did, too. I’m wondering if this pasta dish is Italian. I have some ancient pasta cookbooks, especially by Bugiali, and I remember one chapter specifically that involves pasta with vegetables. This could be in that chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I did too Mimi…..but it seems like it has topped the vegetable charts these days even bypassing kale 🙂 I’m not sure if is Italian, but as you will see, I did throw in some Italian seasoning. It definitely is a crowd pleaser loved by adults and kids alike 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Julie. It’s odd how the lowly cauliflower is now the vegetable of choice and oh so versatile too isn’t it? I’m sure if you throw anything in mac n cheese it will be a winner. So tell John, you’ll be making mac n cheese and throw in some grilled cauliflower, he would not care I’m sure 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh p.s.. and Julie too bad you didn’t receive the link I sent you. It had cuisine courses from all over Europe. It appeared on my FB feed, not sure how, or I’d have sent it again. I think Viking Cruises has something like that going on too.

      Liked by 1 person

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