Pasta with Cauliflower + Caramelized Onions

This recipe is a special one for me to share because it's a recipe that has been in my family for quite some time. My grandma made this pasta often when my dad was growing up (which I only learned because I wanted to recreate a vegan and gluten-free version!) and my dad made this pasta often when I was growing up! So it's pretty darn close to my heart :)

What I love so much about this recipe is that it is SO simple! Simple recipes to me are like a pot of gold. If a recipe is simple yet still so incredibly delicious, it means that quality time, ingredients and love went into making it, and that's what cooking should be like. At least in my mind.

I'm not sure if you know this about me, but when I studied abroad in Milan during my junior year of college, I took a cooking class. Yep! A cooking class in Italy. It was pretty darn magical and I'm so glad I did it. We made pasta and bread from scratch and learned to make classic Italian recipes...it was so much fun! One of my major takeaways from that class was the simpler, the better. Because if a recipe is simple, it means the quality is in the ingredients, not so much in the technique. I'm half Italian, so knowing that simplicity is key runs in my blood.

I made this recipe with zucchini noodles and brown rice pasta, so you have options! If you don't have a spiralizer, don't fret! I love using Jovial brand pasta because there aren't any other weird ingredients (such as xanthum gum); it's solely brown rice flour and water. That's it!

Pasta with Cauliflower + Caramelized Onions

Ingredients:

3 medium red onions, diced

2-3 tablespoons coconut oil (I know it sounds like a lot, but this makes up the sauce)

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

1 head broccoli *optional, as pictured above

salt + pepper to taste

chili flakes *optional if you want a kick!

PASTA VERSION:

16 oz brown rice pasta (I used bow ties in the photos, but you can also use penne)

ZOODLE VERSION:

3-4 zucchini, spiralized

1/2 red onion, diced

Directions:

Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium high heat and add diced red onions. Sauté until caramelized, about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the onions are cooking, steam cauliflower (and broccoli, if using) in a separate pot for about 10-15 minutes, until just fork tender. Cook pasta according to package instructions.

If using zucchini noodles, add about 1/4 cup water and diced onion to a large pan. Water sauté for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add zucchini and sauté for 5-7 minutes. The zucchini should be slightly tender, but still slightly crunchy.

If you are using chili flakes, add them to the caramelized onions and sauté for a few minutes. Toss the cauliflower (and broccoli, if using) into the pot with the caramelized onions. Add salt + pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Add pasta or zucchini noodles and stir together. Turn off heat. Top with fresh parsley to serve.

Serves 4-6

If you dig this recipe and want more like this, I have so many simple recipes in my ebook!

Did you make this recipe? Which version did you try? I'd love to hear about your recreations! Share with me below :)

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