Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Aunt Frances’ Pasta with Cauliflower and Bacon


  • 1 Head cauliflower, washed, cored, and cut up
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste


  1. I start by simultaneously, boiling a pot of water and sautéing the bacon. Cook the bacon until crisp, and place on a paper towel to absorb the extra fat.
  2. While the bacon was cooking, I divided the cauliflower head into florets and tossed into the boiling water. I remove the cauliflower with a strainer, as I reuse the water to cook the pasta.
  3. Meanwhile, I sauté the onions in the bacon fat until nicely browned and caramelized. Then, I add the cooked cauliflower.
  4. When the pasta is al dente, remember to remove a cup of pasta water before you drain it. The pasta water is to both deglaze the pan and to create a bit of a sauce. Add the cooked pasta, Parmesan, and cut up bacon to the pan. Using your judgement, add pasta water to make it juicier and to deglaze. Toss together and serve!
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8-12 servings

Categories: Heirloom Recipes

Tags: pasta, bacon, cauliflower, heirloom recipe, heirloom meals, family recipe, dinner