Cauliflower Rigatoni with Preserved Orange Tapenade

The preserved orange in this tapenade brightens the flavor of the olives and complements the bright green notes from the parsley and basil. The tapenade is also great spooned over hummus, used in place of pizza sauce, as a sandwich spread or mixed into roasted vegetables.

Cauliflower Rigatoni with Preserved Orange Tapenade
Photo: Leigh Beisch
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat rigatoni

  • ½ cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped

  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving

  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving

  • 1 tablespoon preserved orange paste (see Tip)

  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed

  • 1 small clove garlic, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  2. Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon oil and pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, until tender and browned, about 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, cook rigatoni in the boiling water according to package directions.

  4. Combine olives, basil, parsley, preserved orange paste, capers and garlic in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 5 tablespoons oil.

  5. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and add to the bowl with the tapenade. Add the cauliflower and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water; toss to combine. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup water. Serve topped with more basil and parsley, if desired.

To make ahead:

Refrigerate tapenade (Step 4) for up to 1 week.


Make your own preserved citrus paste with this recipe. If you don't want to preserve your own citrus, grab a jar of preserved lemons at the grocery store. Rinse the citrus to remove excess salt. Puree in a food processor or blender. Refrigerate the paste for up to 1 year.

Associated Recipe:

Preserved Citrus Paste

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

489 Calories
26g Fat
55g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 489
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 12g 24%
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Sodium 486mg 21%
Potassium 924mg 20%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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