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Cauliflower tomato penne pasta topped with Parmesan cheese, walnuts, and fresh basil on small white plates.
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5 from 2 votes

Cauliflower Tomato Pasta with Walnuts

This Italian Cauliflower Tomato Pasta recipe is ready in 30 minutes! It's gluten free and made with tomatoes, garlic, Parmesan, and walnuts.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cauliflower pasta, cauliflower and tomato pasta, gluten free cauliflower pasta
Servings: 5
Calories: 493kcal
Author: Christine Rooney



  • Mince 6 cloves of garlic.
  • Cut 1 head of cauliflower into florets (yields 3-4 cups). Make sure all the pieces are relatively the same size to ensure they cook evenly.
  • Heat a skillet to medium and add 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Add the garlic to the skillet and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the cauliflower florets to the skillet along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for 5-6 minutes, stirring often. Add ½ cup of vegetable stock to deglaze the pan and prevent the cauliflower from sticking.
  • Prepare 1 box of Barilla Red Lentil Penne according to package instructions and drain. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
  • Add the cooked penne to the pan along with the pasta water and stir.
  • Heat a small cast iron skillet (or any small skillet) to medium-low. Add 2 oz. of walnuts (or nut of choice) to the pan and toast for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside once toasted.
  • Add 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. Italian seasoning, and ½ cup of shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese to the skillet. Continue to cook on medium heat for another 4-5 minutes or until the tomatoes have warmed and the cheese has melted.
  • Serve the pasta with a sprinkling of the toasted nuts, additional Parmesan cheese, and some freshly chopped basil (or herb of choice).


Feel free to sub the walnuts for any nuts you like. Almonds, hazelnuts, or pine nuts are all great options. Alternately, you can leave them out altogether if you have a nut allergy.


Calories: 493kcal