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Spaghetti with Cauliflower, Shiitakes and Chickpeas

Preparation 10 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 0:30

Here's an easy weeknight dinner that's greater than the sum of its parts. (Meaning, among other things, don't let its simplicity stop you from serving it to guests.) I've used citrus cauliflower for color, but the regular stuff will do just as well.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Generous sprinkle of fine sea salt
  • 1 pound thin spaghetti
  • 10 ounces sliced shiitakes
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3 tablespoons capers with 2 teaspoons brine
  • 1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Grated cheese, optional


  • Fill a large lidded pot halfway with generously salted water and set on the stove to boil.
  • In a wide skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  • Meanwhile, cook the cauliflower in the pot of boiling water until tender, then remove with a slotted spoon. Return water to a boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente (one minute shy of package instructions).
  • Add the shiitakes to the skillet with the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and cooked through. Use a metal spatula to lift them from the bottom of the pan if they start to stick.
  • Pour in the capers and brine and cook for a moment, using the brine to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the chickpeas and cook until warmed through.
  • Drain the pasta and toss well with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the skillet ingredients and the lemon juice, as well as a few tablespoons of grated pecorino or parmesan if you like.
  • Serve with additional grated cheese.
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