Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Lemon Garlic Ricotta + Caramelized Shallots

Roasted cauliflower pasta with lemon garlic ricotta, caramelized shallots + toasted almonds. Simple prep results in a stunning bowl of spaghetti.

Spring has yet to arrive in our neck of the woods. It felt like it was here for a split second but it didn’t  last. We continue to get more snow and rain and I’d say that this season is starting to out stay it’s welcome. But, so it goes and if I have to stay in hibernation mode just a little longer well then I’m going to make the most of it. And I’m going to make pasta.

It was my birthday this week. A day spent walking through the woods and fuelling up on bowls of hot carbs and chocolate cake is a good day in my books, so we celebrated quietly and here we are a few days into another year. We’re back east now and closer to family and even though I’m not quite sure how this year is going to unfold, I know that it will be more than enough. And it will be right. And it will be filled with joyful, often ordinary moments that make this life all that it is. If 30 years on this earth have taught me anything, it is to search for the magic in the mundane.

Because life, after all, is just a combination of magic and pasta.

Roasted cauliflower pasta with lemon garlic ricotta, caramelized shallots + toasted almonds. Simple prep results in a stunning bowl of spaghetti.


You can easily make your own ricotta. It may sound crazy to make your own cheese but it’s such a simple process, it’s worth trying even if just for fun. I haven’t tried it but I would imagine that a tofu or nut based ricotta would work here as well, as it’s the salty pasta water that make the sauce really creamy. It would be worth trying if you follow a strict plant based diet, please report back.

I read somewhere that for every 100g of pasta you should have 1 liter of water and 10g of salt. I don’t salt my water quite so much, but salty starchy pasta cooking water is the secret to flavourful sauces, so add more than just a pinch here.

This dish is definitely best served immediately, however if you have leftovers they can easily be reheated in a sauce pot or skillet with a splash of water.

Serves 4


1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
6 large cloves of garlic, whole (papery skin still intact)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Olive oil
Salt + Pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
5 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup ricotta
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 – 1.5 cups of salty pasta water*
400-500g of spaghettini or your favorite pasta
Italian parsley, chopped, for serving


Preheat oven to 400 F

Chop the cauliflower into small florets, the smaller they are the crispier they will be. Place cauliflower florets, garlic cloves and dried thyme on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Toss in a generous amount of olive oil so that everything is well coated and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the edges of the cauliflower are starting to brown, about 2o minutes, flipping half way through. Turn off the oven, but keep the cauliflower in there so it stays warm. It will continue to crisp up a little as well. Remove garlic

While the cauliflower is roasted, toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, then add the sliced shallots. Caramelize the shallots over medium heat until soft  and dark brown.

Bring a large bot of salted water to a boil, and cook your pasta according to package instructions. **Reserve 1.5 cups of pasta water right before draining the pasta.

Remove the roasted garlic bulb from the skin and mash it with the back of a fork. Stir roasted garlic, fresh thyme and lemon zest into the ricotta. Season with salt and pepper. Add ricotta mixture to the shallots over medium heat. Add in pasta water 1/2 cup at a time and stir to combine. Add until desired creaminess, up to 1.5 cups. Add ricotta sauce to cooked pasta along with half the cauliflower and almonds. Serve in a large bowl with the remaining cauliflower and almonds on top. Garnish with lemon zest, chopped parsley and black pepper.

Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!


  • Reply
    April 6, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    oh lala, just noticed the fancy new comments section. beauty!
    jode, this post! melts my heart a little… another year older, wiser, and more full of carb-y goodness. so excited to give you a bday hug this weekend, and beyond excited to have you back on the east coast. we’ll get through these early thirty somethings and all these adult life decisions together. love you girl xx

    • Reply
      April 7, 2017 at 7:41 am

      Shelley – happy to be here on the east coast, figuring out life with friends like you. See you soon. Love you tons x

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder
    April 7, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Happy birthday (again) sweet Jodi! It sounds like you had the sweetest time, and I just love your spirit here in this post. So full of grounded joy. And this pasta – sheesh girl, you know how to do pasta right, this sounds and looks incredible! Hope you have a happy time celebrating with family now too, xx.

    • Reply
      April 10, 2017 at 8:05 am

      Thank you, Jessie! If I’m going to treat myself, then I’m going to do it right! I guess I am growing a little wiser :) Hope you had a fantastic weekend in the Sunshine! x

  • Reply
    Sus //
    April 9, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Happy birthday JK! I sent you many a cake via snail mail, I hope it found it’s *virtual* way to you. Sounds like you have another exciting few months (and more) ahead, I hope you settle into East coast life with ease and lots of love.

    Miss you lady. xxx

    • Reply
      April 10, 2017 at 8:07 am

      Thank you, Sus! And thank you for the virtual cake! Sending lots of love back your way as well. Miss you too, xx

  • Reply
    Sophie | The Green Life
    April 11, 2017 at 10:02 am

    I hope you had the happiest birthday Jodi! It must feel good to be around family and friends to celebrate! Big hugs, sweet lady. xx

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