Winter Pasta with Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, & Bacon

You know those meals that you labor hours over? The ones with multiple components, lots of chopping, hours of stirring, and intensive effort? Yeah, well sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t one of those. This is one of those quality ingredients, minimal effort, and huge flavorful results. Isn’t the latter ALWAYS better? Don’t get me wrong, I have no plans of giving up baking, salsa chopping, or spending hours, alright days, planning the perfect menu, but even I like a night off every once in a while.

So, what I give you is my adaptation of this recipe from The Year in Food that is a mix of perfectly roasted vegetables with the savory flavor of bacon, over a nutty and spicy bed of pasta tossed with deliciously salty parmesan cheese. Can’t you almost taste it? I knew you could. Seriously though, stop thinking about it, and just go make it. Oh, and for you vegetarians out there, go ahead and skip the bacon, it will be almost just as good. J


  • 12 oz. Whole Wheat Pasta
  • 1 small or medium head Cauliflower, stem and leaves removed, chopped
  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
  • 6 slices Bacon, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup chopped, fresh Parsley, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese, reserving a little for garnish
  • ¼ tsp dried chili flakes
  • Salt & Pepper, freshly ground, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Heat a pot of water on the stove for the pasta.
  3. Toss the cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and bacon in one tablespoon olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until browned at the edges and soft in the center, about 20-30 minutes. Turn once about halfway through. And keep an eye on everything so it doesn’t overcook!
  4. While the cauliflower is roasting, cook your pasta according to instructions on the package.
  5. When the pasta is ready, drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Return pasta to the pot to keep it warm. Add the two remaining tablespoons of oil to the pasta, then the parsley, and chili flakes. If it’s a little dry, add some of the cooking liquid. Toss gently to distribute everything. Add the cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and bacon and toss again, gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the pasta needs to be reheated, do so over a low flame, stirring to prevent burning.
  6. Garnish with grated parmesan and chopped parsley if desired.

7 thoughts on “Winter Pasta with Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, & Bacon

    • jaimeleben says:

      Oh Katie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It seems a bit odd, but then you try it, and are totally, and pleasantly, surprised. So happy to hear from you!

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