Parmigiano-Crusted Rigatoni W/Cauliflower & Bacon

Total Time
Prep 25 mins
Cook 5 mins

Melissa Rubel from Food & Wine Magazine, uses a few shortcuts to make her creamy baked pasta. She starts by boiling the cauliflower and rigatoni together in one pot. Then, for a quick and supercrispy topping, she sprinkles the dish with Parmiagiano-panko crumbs, and broils it. The topping browns perfectly in only two minutes. F&W Magazine, 02/2008 - From World's Best Pastas.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
  4. Add the garlic & crushed red pepper, if using, and cook over moderate heat until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the cream and simmer until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes; season with salt and frshly ground black pepper.
  6. Cook the rigatoni until al dente; about 6 minutes before the rigatoni is done, add the cauliflower florets to the pot.
  7. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
  8. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the panko with the Parmigiano cheese and the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Return the rigatoni and cauliflower to the pot.
  10. Add the garlic cream, the crispy bacon and the reserved pasta water and toss until the pasta is coated.
  11. Scrape the pasta into a large shallow baking dish and sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the top.
  12. Broil for about 2 minutes, rotating constantly, until the topping is evenly browned.
  13. Serve hot with a cherry-rich red blend: 2005 Capezzana Barco Reale.
  14. Enjoy!
Most Helpful

5 5

One of our all-time favorite dishes. Easy to make and full of flavor.

5 5

My husband loves cauliflower, while I am not such a fan. I am always on the lookout for ways that might make it a hit for both of us. This dish, although loaded with calories and very rich, was a winner. It was like an Alfredo pasta with the cauliflower and bacon tossed in. Hubby had 2 HUGE helpings. This is comfort food that could even be served to guests.