Roasted Cauliflower Penne with Cream Sauce

Roasted cauliflower in a creamy bechamel. The tomato adds a wonderful color and texture. The sauce, pasta, and cauliflower all cook for about the same amount of time and are tossed together at the end.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
8 servings


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup butter

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta

  • 4 cups hot skim milk

  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  2. Toss cauliflower with olive oil. Transfer to a baking sheet.

  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle garlic over cauliflower and toss to combine. Continue to cook until cauliflower is tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the oven.

  4. While the cauliflower is roasting, melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat, and bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

  5. Add flour to the melted butter and stir until smooth. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until mixture turns a light, golden color, about 5 minutes.

  6. At the same time, cook penne in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1/4 cup pasta water.

  7. Add hot milk, 1 cup at a time, to the butter mixture, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Stir in Romano cheese and remove from the heat. Season with nutmeg and salt and set aside until ready to use.

  8. Combine penne, roasted cauliflower, bechamel sauce, and tomatoes in a large bowl. If the sauce is too thick, stir in a little of the reserved pasta water. Serve immediately with black pepper.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

417 Calories
15g Fat
55g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 417
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 438mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 31mg 153%
Calcium 343mg 26%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 563mg 12%

* 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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