Cauliflower Carbonara


Cauliflower Carbonara

Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as entrée
  • Entrees
  • Side dishes


  • 10 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch pieces each: white, orange, green and purple cauliflower (about 4.5 ounces each color broken in 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon firmly packed pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch pieces, 1/16-inch thick
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons pecorino
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons salt


  1. Place water in a large pot. Add 3 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Keeping each color separate, blanch cauliflower for about 30 seconds each, or until al dente. Remove and shock in ice water.
  3. Heat a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and pancetta and cook until just crispy, about 90 seconds.
  4. Deglaze pan with 1 cup chicken stock. Add all cauliflower pieces to pan and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  5. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons of hot chicken stock from the sauté pan to temper eggs.
  6. Place the cauliflower and remaining chicken stock back on the stove over medium-high heat.
  7. Slowly add the egg yolk/chicken stock mixture to cauliflower and cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
  8. Reduce heat to low and swirl in butter, cheese, black pepper and salt until emulsified.

Serve with freshly grated pecorino.

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