Recipe | Cauliflower & Mushroom Penne

Cauliflower and Mushroom Penne Pasta

Totally stolen another Jamie Oliver recipe here, but I spotted it on his site, made it and couldn’t not share it, as it is deee-licious!

Using creamy ricotta, cauliflower, and mushrooms, and seasoned with thyme and parsley, this penne pasta dish is a great alternative to the crowd pleasing tomato based pasta dishes.

Cauliflower I find it often overlooked, but it adds a beautiful texture to a dish and an almost nutty flavour to a dish. It also goes perfectly with mushroom, so this dish is winning on all accounts.

We used wholewheat penne but you can just as easily use white penne or even tri-colour if you’re feeling wild! Personally I think the wholewheat pasta works best as it lends itself perfectly to the crunch of the cauliflower and the creaminess of the ricotta. But all pasta is good pasta!

Cauliflower and Mushroom Penne Pasta

How to make cauliflower and mushroom penne pasta:

Ingredients (serves 3)

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 15g fresh thyme
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 320g cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • 200g wholewheat penne
  • 15g fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 100g ricotta
  • 1 lemon
  • 20g parmesan cheese
  1. Place a large pan of salted water on a high heat and bring to the boil.
  2. Meanwhile, finely chop (or grate) the garlic, finely chop the onion and chilli, and pick the thyme leaves off their stalks.
  3. Trim and slice three quarters of the mushrooms, chop the cauliflower into florets.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, chilli and thyme and cook gently for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Add the sliced mushrooms and cauliflower, cover with a lid (or foil if you don’t have a lid) and cook gently for 10 minutes or until softened.
  6. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for roughly 10-12 minutes, following packet instructions.
  7. Meanwhile, pick and finely chop the parsley leaves and trim and very finel slice the rest of the mushrooms.
  8. Once softened, mash the cauliflower mixture with a fork until broken down but still with texture. Stir through the ricotta and season with salt, black pepper and juice from half of the lemon.
  9. Reserve a cupful of cooking water from the pasta, drain the rest and return to the pan off the heat. Add the cauliflower mixture and splashes of the reserved cooking water to loosen the mixture if needed. Taste and season again if required.
  10. Stir through the raw, finely sliced mushrooms, most of the parmesan cheese and half of the parsely leaves. Serve in large bowls with the remaining cheese and parsley sprinkled on top.

Cauliflower and Mushroom Penne Pasta
Cauliflower and Mushroom Penne Pasta