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Whole Wheat Penne with Caramelized Onions and Cauliflower


  • 1/2 package of whole wheat penne ( use regular if you prefer)
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine (or use some of the pasta cooking liquid instead)
  • 1/4 cup of panko or breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper


  • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a full boil. Salt it well and cook the entire piece of cauliflower in it for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the cauliflower and shock it by placing it in some iced water. Once it’s cold, dry it and cut into bite-size florets. Set aside.
  • Cook the penne in the same water you cooked the cauliflower. Drain and set aside, reserving some of the cooking liquid, if using.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-heat.
  • Add olive oil and melt the butter in it. Cook the onions along with the thyme until the onions are browned and caramelized.
  • Add the wine or cooking liquid and scrape the bottom of the skillet to remove the brown bits.
  • Let it boil off, add the cauliflower and cook it for another couple of minutes until the cauliflower is warm again.
  • Add the panko or breadcrumbs, stir it. Add the chopped parsley and serve.