Spicy Cauliflower Basil Rigatoni

Pasta and vegetables are always so great together and that’s never been more true than with this spicy cauliflower basil rigatoni. This dish is especially tasty, and hearty, too! Made with rigatoni, a pasta shaped like ziti (pasta tubes) but enlarged, this is a satisfying, filling entrée.

spicy cauliflower basil rigatoniBecause of it’s larger size, rigatoni takes a bit longer to cook than a lot of pasta that I’ve used. I find that it has the bite I like at around 15 to 20 minutes of boiling. Be sure to follow the cooking directions and time on your rigatoni package.

Once I’ve drained the pasta, I let it sit in the colander, so that it won’t be further cooked by adding it back into the hot pot. If you aren’t in a hurry, you can cook the pasta ahead, drain it into the colander, then sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes in the pasta pot, making the entire dish in one pot. If you choose to double the recipe, you will have to use a larger pasta pot or a dutch oven to make the recipe. My largest skillet is filled to the brim when I add in the pasta!

We love this delectable entrée at my house! It’s slightly spicy and the noodles are large and chewy. The cauliflower adds such a tasty flavor, with the garlic, red pepper flakes and veggie broth.

You might be interested in some of my other pasta recipes:

Chickpea Spinach Gigli Pasta with Za’atar

Slow Cooker Italian Tomato Pasta Soup

Triple A Summer Salad with Ditalini

Pesto Tomato Trottole

Cranberry Arugula Pasta Salad w/Lemon & Pine Nuts

Summer Squash Penne

If you love Italian cuisine, have a look at my other Italian recipes.

I’m including the photo of aluminum foil over my huge iron skillet, with a smaller lid on top, in the recipe below. I want to stress that it’s not important to have fancy or expensive equipment in the kitchen. You can make do with what you have! This is my rigged up way of “covering” the skillet while the cauliflower cooks. Hey, it works! Just do your thing and enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Spicy Cauliflower Basil Rigatoni
A hearty main dish and so easy to make! Delicious year round, but nice and warm for fall and winter.
spicy cauliflower basil rigatoni
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20
Servings
servings
Ingredients
spicy cauliflower basil rigatoni
Instructions
  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts for a few minutes, until they begin to lightly brown. Remove from pan immediately and set aside.
  2. In salted boiling water, cook the rigatoni in a dutch oven or soup pot until tender, according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and set aside in the colander.
  3. In the meantime, in a large skillet (11- to 13-inch) with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sauté the garlic over medium to low heat until it just begins to brown, 2 or 3 minutes.
  4. Add the red pepper flakes and vegetable broth or stock to the skillet. Stir to combine and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
  5. Stir the cauliflower pieces into the broth in the skillet and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, covered, until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork, 10 to 12 minutes.
    spicy cauliflower basil rigatoni
  6. Remove the pot from the heat. Immediately add the rigatoni, carefully stirring to combine and slightly reheat the pasta.
  7. Stir in the roasted pine nuts. Add the fresh basil leaves, lightly stirring one minute until the basil leaves are wilted.
  8. Serve warm topped with vegan parmesan cheese and more fresh basil as garnish.
  9. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
    spicy cauliflower basil rigatoni
Recipe Notes

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