Dairy Farmers of Canada

Homestyle Lemon Cauliflower Orecchiette

This recipe is taken from the 2016 Milk Calendar. It’s cocoon time. Time to pull up your favourite blanket, tune in to your favourite show and indulge in this pasta with a tasty new twist.

  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cooking: 20 min
Yields 4 - 6 Servings
homestyle lemon cauliflower orecchiette


  • 1 lb (450 g) orecchiette
  • 1 cauliflower cut into bite-size florets
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/8 tsp (.5 mL) cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 2 cups (500 mL) Milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Canadian Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) drained capers
  • 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped parsley
  • Grated Canadian Parmesan for serving
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In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for 5 min. Add cauliflower to pasta. Continue to cook pasta and cauliflower 7 to 8 more min or until pasta is al dente and cauliflower is very tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle with flour, salt and cayenne; whisking about 1 min. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Whisk 3 to 5 min or until smooth and thickened.

Drain pasta and cauliflower and return to pot. Pour in sauce; stir about 2 min over medium heat to coat pasta. Stir in Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, capers and parsley. Serve with Parmesan.


This dish tastes best when cauliflower is very tender.  It’s an ideal recipe to introduce your kids to cauliflower.

Add leftover grilled chicken. Substitute small shell-shaped pasta for orecchiette.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 433 Calories
Protein: 19 g
Carbohydrate: 68 g
Fat: 10 g
Fibre: 5 g
Sodium: 441 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 23 % / 255 mg
Vitamin C: