Roasted leek and cauliflower pasta

Roasted leek and cauliflower pasta

roasted leek cauliflower pasta portion

As a self-employed person, you are forced to wear many hats and this week, I am wearing one that says: ‘web designer’ 😉 . I’m serious, I am working on our new website as this current one, although it has served us (and hopefully you too!) well over the last 5 years really needs to be upgraded as it is looking somewhat dated and it no longer fulfils all of our needs. I’ve enjoyed the ride so far, but I find it quite all consuming and I struggle to juggle design work with recipe development and content creation (photoshoots, editing, writing), if I am honest.

Because of that, I have not been experimenting so much in the kitchen this week or even gone out food shopping as often as I would typically so I hope you are in the mood for pasta? I certainly am, but then I am always in the mood for pasta. It is probably my favourite type of comfort food and something I tend to resort to when my fridge is looking blankly back at me.

While a couple of leeks, half a cauliflower and some stale bread on the counter may not seem like much, to me that’s a delicious pasta right there. Both leeks and cauliflower get roasted in the hot oven. The cauliflower gets beautifully charred, while the leeks get soft and sweet with a very delicate onion-y flavour. Stale bread turns into breadcrumbs in my pestle and mortar, which once toasted, add extra bulk and texture to the pasta at the end. A few other fridge and pantry staples like a jar of capers, a lemon and some walnuts and 40 minutes later you’ll have eaten like a king. I hope you’ll agree and I shall return to my design so that I can regale you with a new look sooner rather than later…

roasted leek cauliflower pasta garlic cauliflower

roasted leek cauliflower pasta leeks raw

roasted leek cauliflower vegetables

roasted leek cauliflower pasta lemon zest

roasted leek cauliflower pasta leeks

roasted leek cauliflower pasta plate

15 min
35 min
15 min
35 min
  • ½ large cauliflower (550 g / 19½ oz)
  • 45 ml / 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 smallish leeks
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coarse breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 30 g / ¼ cup walnuts, to serve
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (3 if you love garlic), diced very finely
  • 200 g / 7 oz linguine pasta or similar (GF if needed)
  • 80-120 ml / 1/3-½ cup dairy-free cream, homemade cashew cream works well too*
  • zest of ½ lemon + 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  1. Heat up the oven to 210° C / 410° F (or 190° C / 375° F on a fan setting) and boil a kettle.
  2. Divide cauliflower into florets and place them and interior leaves in a mixing bowl. Coat with 2 tsp of olive oil, season with salt and 1 tbsp nutritional yeast. Arrange on 2/3 a large baking tray leaving some space around each floret.
  3. Next, cut dark green tops of your leeks (use to make stock or a soup). Trim off the roots, clean the leeks and cut each in half. Place leek segments in a bowl and pour boiling water over them, let them sit in hot water for 60 seconds, drain and dry with a kitchen towel.
  4. Coat in 1 tsp of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and arrange on the baking tray, next to the cauliflower. As opposed to the cauliflower, keep the leek segments close together. Place the tray in the preheated oven.
  5. After about 10 minutes, remove the leaves from the tray as they will be done quicker. After another 10 minutes, turn the cauliflower florets over and check on the leeks, they should be done (soft inside) in the next 5-10 minutes while the cauliflower may need an extra 5-10 minutes to get nicely charred. Once the leeks are done, chop them any way you like (I cut mine lengthwise to mimic the shape of my pasta).
  6. Meanwhile, toast breadcrumbs on a hot, dry pan, stirring frequently. Remove the breadcrumbs from the pan, and toast the walnuts until fragrant and lightly charred in places. Remove from the pan, wipe the pan clean and allow it to cool down before sautéing garlic or else it will burn.
  7. Cook pasta short of al dente. Drain reserving about 80 ml / 1/3 cup of pasta cooking water.
  8. Once the frying pan has cooled down a little, warm up 30 ml / 2 tbsp of olive oil in it. Once the oil comes to temperature, add finely chopped garlic.
  9. Sauté the garlic on a low-medium heat, until fragrant but do not let it brown. Stir the entire time.
  10. Add 60 ml / ¼ cup of pasta water, the rest of the nutritional flakes and dairy-free cream. Whisk well to emulsify, season with lemon zest, a dash of lemon juice, black pepper and salt, remembering that capers, added in the next step, are salty too.
  11. Toss the pasta in the ‘cheesy’ sauce quickly. Add a splash more pasta water if the pan is looking dry. Stir in capers, leeks, toasted breadcrumbs and parsley.
  12. Divide between plates, top with charred cauliflower and leaves. Sprinkle with extra parsley and chopped walnuts.

*I make it by blitzing 65 g / ½ cup of raw (soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes first, then drained) cashews and 120 ml / ½ cup of water in my Ninja blender. It’s enough for more than 1 meal and keeps for 3 days in a clean jar, in the fridge. Can be frozen too.

8 g
18 g
3 g
17 g
74 g
*per serving
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12 reviews, 18 comments
Amazing recipes! I love your blog :)
    Thanks so much Aga, really lovely to hear that! x Ania
One of our favourites Ania.
Love the combination of flavours. Thanks
    Thanks Maggie, I am really chuffed to hear that and many thanks for taking the time to let me know. x Ania
This dish was simple to make. I love roasted cauliflower! First time trying roasting the leaves but they were quite tough even after roasting, maybe that was just my cauliflower. I subbed pine nuts which worked really well and didn't have linguine so used spaghetti. It was tasty and filling and I'll definitely be using roasted leeks in more pasta dishes.
    Hi Pauline,
    Glad you enjoyed it and found it easy to make. You want the interir leaves, not the exterior ones as they tend to be tougher and if they are not done simply keep them in the oven a little longer until they are. x Ania
Gillian Wightman:
    Thank you, Gillian! I'm delighted to hear that! x Ania
I'm not sure I've ever commented on your website yet, but I genuinely love every recipe I've tried! We only ever ate tomato sauce based pasta before I tried this recipe, but we both love this, it's delicious. Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes (and I concur with the comment above about the cook book - if you ever write one, I would definitely purchase it!).
    Aw, thanks so much for your lovely comment, Karen. I am so happy to hear that you've been enjoying my recipes and thank you so much for taking the time to comment - I really appreciate it as reviews help my blog grow. Thank you for your book encouragement, I might take the plunge at some point...who knows. x Ania
Dear Ania, thanks so much for this delicious recipe, the whole family absolutely loved it. Greetings from Cologne, Germany! Lina
    Thank you, Lina! I'm delighted to that it went down so well with you and your family! And thanks so much for taking the time to leave this review - I really appreciate it! xx Ania
Windows install:
Thanks you Ania, this tastes yummy .....
    Great to hear, thanks! Ania
Thanks, this tastes yummy - found myself re-reading the recipe many times (can there be too much detail?) seemed to end up with a lot of pans/bowls to wash up too, but next time will be easier.
Really like your recipes!
    Hi Holly,
    Glad you enjoyed the dish. I put a lot of effort in to make sure the method is explained well and with enough detail to make sure that people are happy with the results and I've had quite a few people tell me that they appreciate that aspect of my blog - I am sorry you don't feel the same way. Ania
Another amazing recipe! It was beautifully creamy and full of flavor. I’m making this again for lunch tomorrow, it was that good. Thank you 😊
    Thank you for your kind words, Keiko! I'm really pleased to hear that you enjoyed this recipe as much as the others! x Ania
Daniel Burgess:
There isn't really anything more that I can add to what's already been said about your culinary genius, so rather than highlight all the many brilliances of this dish I just want to talk singularly about the inspired use of cauliflower leaves. I have literally never seen or read a recipe before that uses these inner leaves; searching the internet now there are a few mentions here and there but it's certainly not commonplace in any sense. Pulling the tray out of the oven earlier today to find these heavily toasted, caramelised leaves exuding this nutty, hoppy, slightly weedy smell was an absolute delight. To then realise that their place in the dish also involved them being a textural and flavoural bridge between the softer caramelised leeks and the harder caramelised cauliflower really just blew my mind. Absolute brilliance.
    Thank you for your lovely comment, Daniel, although you are too kind! I certainly cannot be credited with coming up with idea of using cauliflower leaves - Michelin chefs have been doing that for years. I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed them in this dish (I also love them straight out of the oven with a pinch of Maldon salt on them). I personally love eating/using up underappreciated parts of vegetables like cauli leaves, broccoli stems, coriander stems etc. It appeals to my dislike for waste and makes cooking so more fun. x Ania
Wydaj, wydaj koniecznie książkę! ja też uważam, że Twoje przepisy biją na głowę inne wegańskie. A zdjęcia są wisienką na torcie :) Ja myślę że spokojnie możesz wydając książkę zrobić przedsprzedaż - będziesz wiedziała ile sprzedasz, więc dni ryzykujesz drukując. Mało tego, będziesz miała kasę na druk od ludzi, którzy kupią książkę w przedsprzedaży. Pomyśl o tym!
A jeśli okaże się, że nie ma chętnych ( w co wątpię) to zawsze możesz zrobić z tego ebooka, albo kilka mniejszych i sprzedawać za mniejsze pieniądze. Przynajmniej zwróci Ci się za czas włożony w przygotowanie książki :)
Pomyśl :)
    Aw, dzieki za przemile slowa, Karolina! Bede myslec (na razie mam pelne rece roboty), ale strasznie mi milo slyszec ze tak cenisz sobie moje przepisy :) . Pozdrawiam serdecznie! x Ania
This looks great - will be making it next week. We went vegan just over a year ago and your recipes are the ones that are most consistently enjoyed by the whole family. If you do write a book, you've got a guaranteed sale here!
    Thank you, Steve - that's so nice to hear! I might do that at some point but for now, I've decided to continue to focus on making this blog better. Thank you for your encouragement though and I hope you'll enjoy this recipe as much as others. x Ania
you say this is a weekday easy supper- and by difficulty it is- but it tastes like something satisfying you get from the best vegan restaurant and talk about for years. a genuine thank you for this.
    Aw, thank you so much, I am really touched to hear this! x Ania
Have you ever thought about writing a book? Your recipes are better than any I have seen in vegan books. I am sure there would be a great demand for such a book.😃
    Aw, thank you Dani, I'm really flattered. I have thought about it but it is a big risk financially (I would only ever consider self-publishing as going the traditional publishing route is exploitative) as only just printing costs are in the ten thousands of pounds, which you need to have up front. Plus, I would probably not manage to write a book and maintain this blog so I worry that the blog would suffer as a result. It's a bit of a gamble generally so I still need to sleep on it some more ;) , but thank you for your vote of confidence. x Ania
Lisa Seal:
Hi Anna, I just want to say thank you so much for your efforts to make a new website. I have been following you for years and find your recipes inspirational and delicious. I really enjoy your honesty in the blog, I so look forward to your emails. What I am trying to say is keep going the new website will be worth it and I for one can't wait 😀
    Thank you so much Lisa! I'm really touched by your kind words! So glad to hear that you've been enjoying my recipes and I hope that you will enjoy Lazy Cat Kitchen's new look once we have pushed this 'baby' over the line ;) x Ania
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