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Orecchiette with Cauliflower and Leek

Orecchiette with Cauliflower and Leek

It is nice to switch things up every once in a while, and a tiny swap can go long ways when you are cooking. So we are dropping the spaghetti and instead we are making Orecchiette with Cauliflower and Leek. Another delicious and super easy pasta dish that you will absolutely love. 

Who doesn't love pasta? 

Pasta dishes are very practical and a great option when you're after a nourishing, tasty and filling meal. And the best thing is the versatility you can find when it comes to pasta recipes. I mean, just think about the many different types of pasta we can choose from let alone all the recipes that exist and the ones that are being invented at this very moment. 

Orecchiette with Cauliflower and Leek ingredients

When it comes to the kind of pasta we use it is easy to always opt for the same thing over and over, spaghetti, linguini, rotini. So, for this recipe, I used orecchiette which is rarely on my radar. But it is a super fun, kid-friendly pasta and I love how it can hold a nice creamy sauce. 

Orecchiette is widely used in Southern Italy in the region of Puglia. Since it is shaped like a tiny concave ear they usually cook it with hearty tomato sauces and vegetables. Actually, that's what orecchiette means in Italian: little ear. 

This shape comes in really handy when you are trying to scoop every last bit of food on your plate and you don't want to lose a thing while it's making its way to your mouth. We have a couple of different things going on in this recipe, so a pasta that can hold them all is definitely the best option. 

cauliflower and leek

The stars of this recipe are, of course, the vegetables. We are roasting cauliflower and leek to get the most flavour out of them. I like to cut them into small chunks so they cook a bit faster. Just make sure to toss them a couple of times while they are in the oven so everything cooks evenly. 

The combination of leek and cauliflower is an absolute powerhouse of nutrients. Both are among the healthiest vegetables in the world. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants which will provide you with a wide range of health benefits.

almond sauce in a blender

The last element of this pasta is our nice hearty, creamy and absolutely mouthwatering sauce. The sauce will bind all the ingredients together and that is where most of our flavour comes from.

We need a few ingredients to get the right taste and consistency but you probably already have everything in your pantry. We are using toasted almond flour, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and some spices. 

The secret ingredient in this sauce is the white beans. It is very rare to see white beans mixed in a sauce but you will love the creamy texture you get. And this is a great way to sneak in a good amount of plant-based protein to our delicious and heartwarming orecchiette. 

This pasta dish has it all! 

Orecchiette with Cauliflower and Leek single

Prep time
15 minutes
Total time
Category: Lunch, Dinner
Serves: 4
Allergens: Gluten


For the pasta

  • 8 oz orecchiette pasta

For the vegetables

  • 1 head cauliflower (washed and cut into bite size pieces)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped) (optional)
  • 1 leek (washed and cut into rings)
  • 2 tsps olive oil

For the garnish

  • 2 tbsps breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 1 tsp olive oil (optional)
  • 1 dash sea salt (optional)

For the sauce

  • ½ cup almond flour (toasted)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 dash chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp italian herb mix
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup white beans (rinsed)


  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190 C).
  2. In a bowl toss cauliflower bites and leek with olive oil and scatter on a baking tray covered with baking paper, bake for about 30 minutes, toss around a couple of times during the baking process.
  3. cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package and keep the pasta water.
  4. In a blender combine the sauce ingredients and add a bit of the pasta water until you read the desired creaminess.
  5. In a pot combine the sauce with the roasted vegetables and until everything is heated up properly.
  6. For the garnish, mix the ingredients and toast them until golden brown in a skillet and set aside.
  7. Combine the pasta with the sauce and vegetables and sprinkle with the garnish, enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Please take a photo, share it on Instagram and tag it with #veganio. We love to see your photos.

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