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Cauliflower Carbonara

This is one of those recipes that wasn't planned beyond "We need food. What's in the fridge?" It developed based on the ingredients on hand - homemade pasta, cauliflower, lemon and yoghurt. We tried a couple of variants - without the bacon, then with and finally with cured egg yolk grated over the top. It was tasty in all its iterations and so worth sharing. My favourite, though, was the final one in which we added a little crumbled bacon and the cured egg yolk, which tasted like a lighter carbonara. It made about 3 portions.



1 - 1 1/2 c plain yoghurt

Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp sumac

1/2 cauliflower head, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil + 1 more for sauce

1/2 - 1 head garlic, crushed

*5 rashers of bacon

*Cured egg yolk to top

salt and pepper to taste

* Optional

1) Cook pasta until al dente, reserving a half cup of pasta water. In a large pan, heat the oil. Add the cauliflower and fry until beginning to brown and soften.

2) In a large bowl, mix the yoghurt, lemon juice and zest. sumac and salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower and stir. If using, crispy fry the rashers of bacon.

3) Toss the sauce with the pasta, stirring in the pasta water bit by bit. If using, crumble the bacon and grate the cured egg yolk over the top. Salt and pepper to taste.

This was a big hit with all of us (Little Bit needed his separated into different components, but then, he is a toddler...). I loved the simplicity and lightness of this dish. The bacon and egg yolk of course added some richness, but without making the meal too heavy. The lemon and yoghurt's acidity also helped to keep it fresh and light, while the cauliflower pieces helped add a little depth and bite. All in all, a meal that I am quite pleased with.

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