Cauliflower Bolognese

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, published in Nov 2018. I add walnuts and pasta sauce to make a thicker heartier bolognese.

Serves: 6-8

Items needed: food processor, dutch oven or extra-large skillet, baking sheets, measuring cup/spoons, knife, large stock pot to cook pasta


  • 12oz crimini mushrooms, stems removed, pulsed in processor, set aside in a bowl

  • 6 oz shelled walnuts, pulsed in processor, set aside in a bowl

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 2#), 1" slice for roasting

  • 1 lg yellow onion, fine chop

  • Olive oil & butter

  • 1 head of garlic, roasted

  • 1 TBSP rosemary

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 1/3 cup double-concentrated tomato paste

  • 1/3 to 1/2 jar of pasta sauce

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced & zested

  • parsley, garnish

  • 1 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 16 oz rigatoni


  1. On a foil-lined baking sheet, place the 1" slices of cauliflower. Drizzle w/ olive oil on both sides. Add Salt & pepper, a pinch of rosemary, and thyme to the cauliflower. Bake @ 375 until browned, about 25-30 min. If your garlic is not already roasted, cut the top of the garlic head, wrap in foil, & drizzle with Olive Oil. Twist the foil to enclose the garlic. Roast it on the pan with the cauliflower.

  2. After roasting the cauliflower, allow to cool slightly, then pulse in the food processor in small batches.

  3. In an extra-large skillet, add about 1 TBSP of Olive oil over medium heat. Add fine chopped onions, cook until slightly brown. Add pulsed mushrooms, cook until browned. Add a pinch on S & P along with a pinch of rosemary and thyme.

  4. Lower heat to medium-low. Add pulsed cauliflower, roasted garlic, and concentrated tomato paste. Add a few TBSP of water as needed to thin the paste.

  5. Add tomato sauce to the skillet and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes. Stir in the pulsed walnuts. Add lemon juice to taste for acid and flavor brightness.

  6. Cook pasta per package instructions. Reserve pasta water to thin sauce if needed.

  7. With a slotted spoon, add cooked rigatoni to the bolognese sauce. Off heat, add parm cheese and parsley to taste.