I received my latest Bon Appetit magazine the other day and found a recipe that intrigued me – Cauliflower Bolognese. It was especially timely as I had just bought a head of cauliflower with no particular idea in mind – it just looked good so into the basket it went.

We keep the basics around the house – onions, garlic, celery, carrots, mushrooms – but the other fresh vegetables vary with my shopping mood. I don’t plan meals in advance, so it all depends on what looks good.

Victor had just bought a new pappardelle cutter attachment for the pasta roller, so… dinner, as they say, was served. He used his favorite pasta recipe from Alon Shaya. He wasn’t totally sold on the new pasta cutter – it’s actually quicker to cut by hand – so we ended up with some varying widths of pasta. Regardless of width, it tasted fabulous.

Pasta Dough

  • 1 1/4 cup 00 flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Mix flours. make a well and add the eggs, egg yolks, and oil. Slowly mix in the flour and knead until smooth. Let rest 30 minutes before rolling to desired shape.

Fresh Pasta

The Bon Appetit recipe is vegetarian, but I had some spek in the freezer, so I used it for some added flavor. And since I already had the food processor out, I used it for the onion and pepper, as well. It made it all pretty easy.

Cauliflower Bolognese


  • 4 oz speck
  • 12 oz mushrooms
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 6-8 oz tomato paste
  • 12 oz white wine
  • finely grated Parmesan
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • Pasta of your choice


Pulse mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.

Pulse cauliflower in food processor until pieces are about the size of a grain of rice. Set aside.

Pulse onion, garlic, jalapeno, thyme, and rosemary. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Add speck and cook until lightly browned. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 4–6 minutes.

Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic, chile, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened and mixture is very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is slightly darkened, about 2 minutes.

Add cauliflower and cook until cauliflower is cooked down slightly and begins to stick to bottom of pot, 6–8 minutes. Add wine and stir well and cook until boiling and cauliflower is tender. Season with salt and pepper, then keep warm over low heat.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until almost al dente, about 1 minute less than package directions.

Transfer pasta to pot with sauce. Add Parmesan cheese and increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked and sauce is clinging to pasta, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

Divide pasta among plates. Top with more Parmesan, then drizzle with oil.

Fresh Pasta

The sauce took literal minutes to pull together. Victor has pasta-making down to a science, so it took him no time at all to make the dough, roll, and cut.

Fresh Pasta

A bit of crusty bread and dinner was complete.

Between the mushrooms and the cauliflower, it had a real meaty flavor and consistency. The speck was a really nice addition, but it still would have been a good dish without it.