Cauliflower, Kale, and Prosciutto Pasta

Alternate post title: How to get your boyfriend to eat kale.


The strategy – pair the kale with things he loves. Such as his favourite vegetable, cauliflower. And pasta. Throw in a little bacon prosciutto and some good parmigiano reggiano, and you will have a winner of a dish. And a boyfriend who eats kale. I imagine this strategy would also work for picky husbands, children, siblings, etc.


Now, I didn’t come up with this flavour combination on my own. I happened to see it in the Thrifty Foods flyer (and you can also find the original recipe online here). I clipped out the recipe, posted it on the bulletin board with the question “this for dinner Sunday?”, and received the thumbs up. I have a feeling he saw a picture of pasta, and didn’t read past the cauliflower part, but whatever.


Of course, I did make some modifications based on my own personal tastes, what I had on hand, and ease of preparation. Am I really going to count out exactly 24 – 28 thumbnail sized cauliflower florets? Am I ever going to go to the trouble to make sure they are thumbnail sized? Ummm…no. I’m all for a more rustic, hearty presentation anyways.


This made for a great summer evening meal. It was hearty and filling without being heavy, because it’s not coated in a sauce like many pasta dishes. It’s sort of like a warm, lightly dressed pasta salad if you will. The parmesan gives it a nice salty bite, and the baby kale loses any sort of bitterness since it’s cooked, so you could probably even convince someone it was spinach if you needed to. With all those veggies and the whole wheat pasta, this is a great source of fibre too!


Cauliflower, Kale, and Prosciutto Pasta

serves 6

Inspired by this recipe from Thrifty Foods


  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 500 g whole wheat pasta (I used fusilli, but you could also use rotini, penne, or any other pasta with ridges)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pkg (142 g or 5 oz) baby kale
  • 100 g thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano, plus more for serving
  • black pepper, to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, until just tender. Scoop out of boiling water, and plunge into an ice water bath. Set aside.

2. Add pasta to the boiling water, and cook for 8 – 10 minutes, or according to package directions.

3. While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet (I used my wok) over medium high heat. Add the cauliflower, kale, prosciutto, and garlic, cooking for 3 – 4 minutes, until the kale has wilted. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.

4. When the pasta is done, add it to the skillet/wok, along with the parmesan. Season with black pepper, toss to coat, and serve.


Note: Don’t skimp out on your cheese and meat – buying quality will really give you great flavour in this dish. If you can’t find baby kale, substitute it with baby spinach.


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Categories: Dinner, Recipe, Whole Grain


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4 Comments on “Cauliflower, Kale, and Prosciutto Pasta”

  1. August 22, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    I am impressed that your boyfriend’s favourite vegetable is cauliflower! I know so many people who hate it.

    I remember a hummus recipe that said to take the skin off all the chickpeas! I too went for the more rustic approach… Thumbnail sized pieces! That’s crazy 😉

  2. August 23, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    I might even like the kale in the pasta with the proscuitto and cheese! Not a fan of it otherwise though – even tried to like kale chips, but um, gross! Happy Friday!

    • August 23, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

      The baby kale is super mild to begin with, so you really don’t get my bitter flavours from it. Have you tried using kale in a smoothie? Or stir fry? Both are good ways of masking the flavour if you don’t enjoy it.

  3. September 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    That sounds MIGHTY DIVINE. Serves two in my house, me and me. None for Rob!

    I love the taste of kale for whatever reason. What other dark greens do you like/use M?

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