Bucatini with Cauliflower, Capers, and Lemon

Photo: James Ransom
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

A fast weeknight pasta that doesn't skimp on flavor. The bucatini cooks in the what becomes the sauce (yes, a one-pot dinner!). The cauliflower is chopped fine, then mixed with capers and Parmesan, and cooks under the broiler atop the pasta.


  • 1 pound bucatini

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 sprig oregano, plus 1 tablespoon lightly packed fresh leaves

  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving

  • 2 ½ teaspoons coarse salt

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving

  • 4 cups finely chopped cauliflower florets (from 1 head)

  • 3 tablespoons capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed and drained

  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan (1 ½ ounces), plus more for serving


  1. Heat broiler with rack 8 inches from heating element. Combine pasta, 5 cups water, 2 tablespoons oil, oregano sprig, pepper flakes, and 2 teaspoons salt in a large, straight-sided ovenproof skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sauce is mostly reduced and pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon zest and juice.

  2. In a bowl, toss cauliflower with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, capers, Parmesan, and oregano leaves. Sprinkle over pasta in skillet. Broil until cauliflower is golden in spots and pasta is heated through, about 5 minutes. Toss to combine. Serve with more cheese and pepper flakes, a drizzle of oil, and lemon wedges.

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