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Ziti with Crispy Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon

Ziti with Crispy Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon
Casey Barber / Casey Barber
Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
20 mins

Chef notes

This six-ingredient, 30-minute meal combines filling cauliflower with bright lemon and plump, sweet cherry tomatoes. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly dinner to get on the table after a full day of school and sports or an easy vegetarian meal for last-minute entertaining, this delicious pasta recipe fits the bill. 


  • 3 cups fresh cauliflower florets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + 1 tablespoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 pound ziti or other tubular pasta
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
Fulfilled by


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Bring a 6-quart pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  3. While the pasta water is heating, toss the cauliflower with 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and browning at the tips and edges.
  4. When the pasta water comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon salt to the water. When it dissolves, stir in the ziti.
  5. While the ziti cooks, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes, just until the tomatoes are starting to soften.
  6. When the ziti is al dente, add it to the tomatoes along with 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, lemon juice, and roasted cauliflower. Stir and let the pasta cook for 30 seconds more to absorb the sauce.
  7. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls and top each with a sprinkle of lemon zest. Serve immediately.