Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Parmesan


1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

2 tablespoons olive oil, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons salted butter

1/4 cup lemon juice


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

Toss cauliflower with garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Spread out in an even layer on a baking sheet.

Roast in the preheated oven, tossing at least twice, until cauliflower is tender, about 30 minutes.

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.

Mix Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl; set aside.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Transfer pasta to a serving bowl and add cauliflower and butter.

Stir in cooking water, a little at a time, until desired creaminess is reached.

Add lemon juice and bread crumb mixture, toss, and serve.