This orecchiette (one of my favorite types of pasta!) with cauliflower should really be called cauliflower with orecchiette because I used such a small amount of pasta, but please use as much as you like! The toasted breadcrumbs in this dish add some really nice crunch, nuttiness and greasy-ness that you miss without cheese. It’s gross, but it’s true and don’t act like it’s not.

Orecchiette With Cauliflower and Sun Dried Tomatoes [Vegan]

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Cooking Time



  • 1/3 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup orecchiette
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used plain unseasoned)
  • handful of sun dried tomatoes
  • balsamic vinegar and parsley, for serving


  1. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions on package. When finished, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  2. Soak the sun dried tomatoes in a bowl of warm water.
  3. In the meantime, heat 1 T olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add your cauliflower. Cook until it’s as brown as you like. I like mine super brown (almost burnt), so mine cooked for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. While the pasta and cauliflower are cooking, heat 1-2 T olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the breadcrumbs. You want them fairly saturated with oil, so add more if necessary. Cook, stirring regularly, until they are as brown as you like. You can add some garlic powder or other seasonings here, like red pepper flakes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. By now, your cauliflower should be finished. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about a minute. Be sure you don’t burn it!
  6. Drain your pasta and tomatoes and toss all ingredients together. If you like a bit more liquid, add a splash of the pasta water and cook for a second over high heat. Top with balsamic and parsley, if desired.


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