This Roasted Cauliflower with Rigatoni recipe is big on bold, fresh flavors like caramelized shallots, lemon, capers, pine nuts, Parmesan, and roasted cauliflower. It’s an easy recipe that can be served for busy weeknights, Sunday dinners, or even dinner parties.

Finished recipe with text overlay for Pinterest.

I cannot tell you how much I love living in Southern California. The weather is beautiful pretty much year-round (I mean, we go to the beach in February…now who wouldn’t love that?!).

Plus, the diverse landscapes are just breathtaking. I live about 6 miles from the beach, but this is the view from my backdoor: endless tomato fields and mountains! {By the way, if you eat a Roma tomato that was grown in the U.S., chances are it was grown pretty darn close to my backyard!}

The view from my backyard!
The view from my backyard!

My favorite things about living in California is the fresh produce! I love going to my local grocery store, road-side stand, and farmers market to see all of the fresh, in-season, California-grown produce. I feel like there’s always something new and in-season every time I shop.

Like my last trip to the grocery store, I knew cauliflower was in season, so I wanted to pick some up for this Roasted Cauliflower with Rigatoni recipe. But when I got to the store, I noticed cauliflower in white, orange, and purple!

Yes, folks, purple cauliflower! Beautiful, crisp, California-grown purple cauliflower! Besides the purple cauliflower, I used a lot of California-grown food for this Roasted Cauliflower with Rigatoni recipe. I used shallots, lemons, pine nuts, and garlic, too!

Roasted Cauliflower with Rigatoni ingredients

California farmers and ranchers grow almost half of the veggies, fruit, and nuts grown in the U.S. With such a large stake in a lot of the food we all eat, these farmers and ranchers are very aware of the need to make the most of natural resources like water.

They are continually looking for new ways to use water more responsibly and efficiently. You can learn more about farming and ranching in California by checking out

This Roasted Cauliflower with Rigatoni recipe is so easy to make, let me show you how!

Finished recipe with text overlay for Pinterest.

  1. Mix the oil and herbs in a large bowl.
  2. Add the broccoli florets and shallots, and toss to coat.
  3. Spread the cauliflower and shallots onto a baking sheet.
  4. Roast the cauliflower and shallots until caramelized.
  5. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes (this infuses the oil with so much flavor!).
  6. Toss cooked pasta, cauliflower mixture, and infused oil until coated. Top with pine nuts and Parmesan and serve!

Cook’s Note – Roasted Cauliflower with Rigatoni

  • You can use any color cauliflower in this recipe. While purple and orange are more fun, regular cauliflower will work wonderfully.
  • You may want to consider doubling the number of shallots in this recipe. The crispy, caramelized shallots were my family’s favorite part of this Roasted Cauliflower with Rigatoni recipe. Next time I’m adding more!
A bowl of Roasted Cauliflower with rigatoni
5 from 2 votes

Roasted Cauliflower with Rigatoni

Author Jillian - a Food, Folks and Fun original!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
6 people
This Roasted Cauliflower with Rigatoni recipe is big on bold, fresh flavors like caramelized shallots, lemon, capers, pine nuts, Parmesan, and roasted cauliflower.



  • 1 large head cauliflower about 2 pounds
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large shallots cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings


  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic cloves smashed
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large lemon juiced and zested
  • ¼ cup capers rinsed
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Move oven rack to lowest position and preheat to 475 degrees F. Line standard-sized baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking mat; set aside.
  • Remove outer leaves of cauliflower and trim stems so they’re flush with bottom of cauliflower head. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets. In large bowl gently whisk olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper together. Add cauliflower and shallots and toss to combine. Evenly distribute cauliflower mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Cover baking sheet with foil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove foil and roast until bottoms of cauliflower florets are golden, about 7-10 minutes. Use spatula to flip florets and roast until cauliflower is almost golden all over, about another 7-10 additional minutes.
  • While Cauliflower roasts, cook rigatoni as per package instructions and drain. In small saucepan over medium-low heat combine olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Heat for 5 minutes. Off heat remove garlic cloves and mince. Then add them back to saucepan along with lemon juice, zest, capers, and pine nuts.
  • Toss drained pasta, oil mixture, roasted cauliflower mixture, Parmesan cheese, and thyme until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.


Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 556mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 213IU | Vitamin C: 62mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 3mg

did you love this recipe?

Share it with me on Facebook and find more recipes on foodfolksandfun for more!

The finished pasta in white bowls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs says:

    I can safely say I have NEVER seen a cauliflower that colour. It’s amazing!!!! Still, I’m sure the dish would still be delicious with regular cauliflower 😉 great post!

    1. Yes, it would be equally as delicious with regular cauliflower!

  2. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says:

    I just love roasted cauliflower. It totally changes the flavour of it.

  3. Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon says:

    Purple cauliflower is so much fun! And so is visiting the farmer’s markets. I haunt mine regularly, though I live in the Northeast, so local produce is a bit thin on the ground right now. 😉 This looks so tasty. I’m going to have to try it.

  4. Tara | Deliciously Declassified says:

    This is a simple recipe but looks like it’s full of so much flavor! I LOVE oven roasted cauliflower and totally agree that the different colors are more fun. The view from your house is also AMAZING!