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Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Cauliflower Carbonara

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When Rob and I were making this Sun-Dried Tomato Carbonara, I commented to Rob how much I love our weeknight experimental pasta dishes. For a long time, we had a 3-4 pasta dish rotation that we would go through. While all of those recipes are good (and on the blog here and here!), the blog has really pushed us to create new recipes and look for variations. So, along came this dish!

I am not sure that this is a true “carbonara”, but its pretty close. It’s a cream sauce with pancetta, wine, and garlic. For a bit of color and flavor, I added sun-dried tomatoes which really complimented the pancetta. As always for me, I added a little bit of red pepper flake just to give it that bite that I love. We considered adding some precooked chicken sausage for more protein, but left it out in the end. To be honest, I realized after that the pancetta wasn’t super necessary and this could have been vegetarian.

What we did add was roasted cauliflower. For a while, I wasn’t using cauliflower and was I missing out. Roasted cauliflower has easily become one of my favorite ingredients. I love the subtle flavor and crispy texture that it gets from roasting. I have put it in this, an asian recipe (coming soon BTW), and mac & cheese. Definitely got to try mashing it soon!

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5 from 2 votes

Sun-Dried Tomato & Roasted Cauliflower Carbonara

A quick and easy weeknight flavor packed with flavor.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: carbonara, cauliflower, pancetta, pasta, pasta sauce, Tomato
Servings: 4 People


  • 1 Lb Orecchiette Pasta
  • 1/4 Cup Pancetta can sub for olive oil to make vegetarian
  • 1 Cauliflower Head broken into small pieces
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 7 Jarred Sun-dried Tomatoes rough chopped
  • 1/3 Cup White Wine
  • 1/2 Cup Half & Half
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flake optional
  • Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Bring pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  • Coat the cauliflower florets in salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast for about 25 minutes.
  • Start the pasta and sauce at about the 12 minute remaining mark on the cauliflower.
  • Cook the pasta to the desired doneness.
  • Put the pancetta in a room temp skillet or saute pan, turn the heat onto medium-high, and allow the fat to render off. This should take about 4-5 minutes and the pancetta will be slightly crispy.
  • Remove the pancetta and set aside. Add the garlic and red pepper flake, cook for about 1 minute.
  • Add the wine to deglaze the pan, reduce for an additional minute.
  • Add the half & half, cream, and sun-dried tomatoes, reduce heat to low and allow the sauce to reduce until the pasta is ready.
  • Add the pasta, cauliflower, and pancetta to the sauce, toss to combine, and top with parsley and parmesan cheese.


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