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Spicy Cauliflower Bolognese

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Prep Information

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes


4-6 people


  • 1 large head cauliflower, finely chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 3 tbsp Chiquitita extra virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
  • 1 pinch each salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
  • 2 tsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 Fresno chile pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 pound pasta, any cut (try our amazing Pappardelle's Dry Artisan Pastas! call for inquiries)
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a bowl, add the cauliflower, 3 tbsp olive oil, paprika, oregano, fennel seeds, and a pinch each salt/pepper. Toss well to evenly coat and place onto a prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast until tender. (about 15 minutes) Add 2 cloves garlic and soy sauce if using and roast until charred (another 10 minutes or so).
  2. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet over low-medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the shallot, chile pepper, and other garlic. Cook until the shallots caramelize (about 5 minutes) and reduce the heat to low. Add the tomato paste and cook for 4-5 minutes, until thickened. Add in 1/3 cup water, stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the pesto and season with salt and pepper. Leave on low heat to keep warm.
  3. Boil a large pot of salted water and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions or until al dente. Before draining, remove 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water. Drain and set aside.
  4. Add the pasta, cauliflower, 1/2 cup water from pasta, and the butter to the sauce. Toss until the butter has melted and then add the Parmesan and basil. Thin the sauce using the pasta water if necessary.
  5. Serve topped with more basil and cheese. Enjoy!
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