Caramelized Cauliflower Fettuccine Pasta with California Prunes, Garlic, and Herbs

Recipe developed by Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN

Servings: 6


  • 2 heads cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 1/3 cup tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 leaves fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 cup whole pitted California Prunes, chopped
  • ½ cup green olives, chopped
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 8 oz fettuccine pasta
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, stemmed and chopped
  • Zest from 1 lemon + 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 oz grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss the cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over a baking sheet and season with a ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Spread out in a single layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes until the cauliflower is caramelized and golden brown on the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering in the pan, add the garlic, shallots, rosemary, and sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the chopped prunes, olives, walnuts, and chili pepper flakes and continue cooking on low.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Reserve a ½ cup of the pasta water and add it to the saucepan with the prune mixture, stirring, to create a pan sauce. Season with remaining salt and black pepper and increase the heat to medium high. Add the caramelized cauliflower and drained pasta to the pan, along with the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice and toss to evenly distribute. The fettuccine should be evenly coated with the cauliflower florets, prunes, herbs, and savory bits.
  5. Transfer to a large serving platter or to dinner plates, top with grated cheese, and serve warm.

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