Pasta with Cauliflower and Olives

Incredibly simple pasta with cauliflower, but very flavorful. Reheats well.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
6 servings


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 pound penne pasta

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped, or to taste

  • 1 ½ cups chopped black olives

  • 1 tablespoon shredded basil leaves

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste


  1. Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover, and steam until tender but not mushy, 4 to 6 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes.

  3. While pasta boils, heat olive oil in another large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and saute briefly, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not brown. Add chopped olives. Saute to heat through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add basil and black pepper.

  4. Add steamed cauliflower to the olive mixture. Mix well. Mash cauliflower slightly with a potato masher, leaving some florets intact. Serve over drained pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

Cook's Notes:

Use any kind of pasta you like.

I like to preheat the pasta bowls with hot water so that the pasta will not get cold right away.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

501 Calories
24g Fat
63g Carbs
13g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 501
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 356mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 45mg 227%
Calcium 81mg 6%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 447mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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