NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This time of year, some of the best vegetables are at their peak, especially the increasingly popular cauliflower.

There are so many ways to make the most of this versatile veggie.

Jason Hall, executive chef at Legasea in Midtown, shares his recipe for cauliflower carbonara.

Legasea’s Cauliflower Carbonara

Cauliflower carbonara (Credit: CBS2)

Serves 4
Time approx. 45-60 minutes


1 Cauliflower, whole head
1 Spanish Onion, medium (small dice)
1 Q Vegetable stock (no sodium)
4 oz Extra Virgin Olive
2 T Butter
5 Garlic, whole heads
1 T Rosemary, fresh (finely chopped)
1 T Oregano, fresh (finely chopped)
1 t Chili flake
12 oz Cavatelli Pasta, fresh is preferred
1 bunch Tuscan Kale
4 Egg Yolk
1 Lemon (juiced)
1 ½ c Pecorino Romano, grated
2 T Italian Breadcrumbs (toasted)


1. Pick the kale leaves from the stems and place them in the freezer.
2. Peel all the leaves from the cauliflower, then remove the florets off the stems and cut the florets into bite-size pieces.
3. Take the cauliflower core, leaves and half of your chopped florets and put them into a food processor or chop by hand into mince-size pieces; these will be cooked down to form the sauce. Reserve the other half of the cauliflower florets on the side.
4. Cut the onion into a small dice and mince all of the garlic.
5. Peel the rosemary and oregano leaves from the stem and chop finely.
6. Heat a sauté pan with 2 oz. of extra virgin olive oil and roast the other half of the reserved cauliflower florets over medium heat until the cauliflower has good color and is cooked through, but still has some texture (not mushy). Remove from the heat and reserve to the side.
7. Using the same warm pan, add the remaining 2 oz. of EVOO and sweat the onion, garlic and chili flake over medium-low heat, and add the finely chopped herbs and minced cauliflower. Sweat the mixture while combining, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
8. Add the vegetable stock to the sauté pan and let it cook down with the rest of the mixture until it resembles the texture of a hearty sauce.
9. Cook pasta according to instructions and set aside.
10. Remove the kale from the freezer and add into the sauce with the rest of the bite-sized cauliflower florets that you set off to the side; now mix in a cup of pecorino romano cheese, butter and the lemon juice.
11. Stir until everything is uniform and scoop into bowls.
12. Make a well in the middle of the pasta in the bowl and place the yolks there. Top with remaining grated pecorino cheese (about half a cup, or to your preference) and a good helping of the toasted breadcrumbs.
13. Enjoy!


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