Spaghetti with Cauliflower and Burrata

Since I cook for a living people often ask me if I cook when I am not working. If you have been following along with this blog it is clear that I cook all the time, I am pretty much always cooking. But it surprises some people that I still have the desire to cook on the weekends, when I am not at work. I know it sounds strange but the more I cook, the more I want to cook. I get in this rhythm that just makes it easy and effortless. It is when I don't cook for a long time that I become a total spaz in the kitchen. I can't explain it but so it goes I guess.


Part of the reason I cook at home a lot is that I am constantly dreaming of recipes. I get an idea in my head and I have to make it or it haunts me. Ok that is a little dramatic but it is more like I need to exercise that creative thought. And more often than not, it is a picture of a dish or food that starts the momentum. I have tons and tons of cookbooks that I turn to for recipes, (it is more like an addiction) but more and more it seems to be Pinterest that is my form of inspiration. Don't get me wrong I love Pinterest and can spend hours on that site but I struggle with all the "noise" that is on there - I want simple and tasty food that looks pretty. It seems harder and harder to find that on Pinterest these days so I am making more of an effort to find "tears" from magazines. If you are like me you probably ear mark a recipe or image in a magazine and never go back to it.  I am trying to stop that habit especially in my most favorite food magazines Donna Hay and Gourmet Traveller. (I absolutely love their food photography and food direction.) I also love Garden and Gun (yes that is the real name of the magazine - it is a Southern magazine with gorgeous images)

This spaghetti with cauliflower and burrata is the perfect example of this whole process. I spotted this recipe in Donna Hay, taped the picture to my wall (see above image, can you spot the tear?)  and re-created the recipe. I have no idea what is actually in the original Donna Hay recipe other than cauliflower and burrata but I loved that picture.  If I know what it is supposed to look like, I can basically "back into it." It is this kind of reverse logic thinking that I love about cooking. Any recipe can be broken down if you think about like a puzzle. Which is exactly what I did with this recipe. I couldn't stop thinking about it, so instead I created it.

Yes I know there is gluten-filled carb-heavy pasta in this dish but I can't help it - I am loving pasta dishes these days. I know that is totally passé since pasta seems to be a bad word but this dish is delicious. Bonus because it only uses 2 pots in the kitchen, 1 if you are extra resourceful. Also, everything in moderation, right?  Instead of thinking of pasta as the devil, think of it as a way to eat more veggies. I promise you if you add a ton of vegetable (like cauliflower) to a pasta dish you are going to eat way more veggies. If you are gluten-free, there are some great gluten-free pasta options on the market, my favorite is the brand Ancient Harvest. If you want to get super healthy, you could even swap spiralized zucchini for the pasta. But that is besides the point. I love pasta and I am not afraid of it. (I say that in January when there no need to wear a swimsuit for many months)

Anyways this pasta is my idea of the ultimate comfort dish. I love pasta dishes that have pan sauces instead of heavy tomato sauces - the sauce is literally made with shallots, garlic, wine and reserved cooking liquid for the pasta. Toss that with some cauliflower, olives, capers, pine nuts, mint and burrata and we are talking about a perfectly complete meal. Give it a try - would love to know what you think!


I would also like to call out my amazing hand actor, Luke. I gave him a bowl of this pasta in exchange for his mad red pepper flake skills. Well done Luke, well done - your hand modeling future is very bright but don't let that go to your head)

Spaghetti with Cauliflower and Burrata


  • 1 head cauliflower, stalks removed and cut into small florets
  • 1 lb. spaghetti pasta 
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. chopped shallots
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. assorted olives, sliced and pitter
  • 2 Tbs. capers
  • 8 oz burrata cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesean cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
  • 2 Tbs. chopped mint
  • 2 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanche the cauliflower for 2 minutes. Remove cauliflower with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool slightly. Return the water to a boil. Cook spaghetti noodles according to instructions on package. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking liquid then strain pasta and drizzle with 1 Tbs. olive oil.

While the spaghetti is cooking warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Pan roast the cauliflower in batches until golden brown and fork tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside. In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallots, garlic and pinch of salt. Cook for 30 seconds or until the shallot becomes translucent. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Cook wine until reduced by half, about 2 to 3 minutes. 

Add butter, olive, capers and Parmesan cheese. Add cooked pasta and toss to combine, adding the reserved pasta liquid if needed to loosen the sauce. Tear burrata into tablespoon pieces and fold into pasta. Taste for salt and pepper and serve topped with mint and pine nuts and a pinch of red pepper flakes.