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Cauliflower carbonara



This recipe incorporates a creative way of using the romanesco cauliflower.  Roasting it in the oven with olive oil adds a smokiness to its flavour and a slight crunch to its texture.  I added a few stray mushrooms to the recipe but that is entirely optional.  I have also opted for the healthy version of carbonara by replacing cream with natural yoghurt.  The result is surprisingly good.  













Ingredients (serves 4): 

  • 1 cauliflower (ideally romanesco) or 2 broccoli heads

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 100ml natural yoghurt (I use greek yoghurt for extra creaminess)

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 4 slivers of back bacon or cooked ham, cut into 1cm / 0.5 inch squares

  • 300g/10oz linguini pasta or other small shape (penne) 

  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

  • 60g/2oz parmesan, grated 


1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius/385 Fahrenheit/Gas 6.

2. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and mix with olive oil, salt and pepper, and the bacon.  Add to a roasting tin and roast till golden, approximately 20 minutes.  Mix and turn with a spoon from time to time to avoid burning.

3. Cook the linguini following the pack instructions.

3. Drain the linguini and keep 4 Tbsp of cooking liquid.

4. Whisk the egg yolks, parmesan and the yoghurt together.

5. Stir the yoghurt mix with the pasta.  Place over low heat to thicken.  Stir often.  If the mixture is too thick, add the cooking liquid a tablespoon at a time.

6. Fold the cauliflower and bacon through the pasta.  Finish with a sprinkle of black pepper and grated parmesan.

7. Serve immediately.


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