Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Cauliflower + Figs

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Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Cauliflower and California Figs

Pasta with cauliflower isn’t just for autumn. Keep a box of spaghetti on-hand for this quick and ready for weeknight dinner. Use whole wheat noodles to up the nutrition in spaghetti with cauliflower and figs.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Cauliflower + Figs

Shop the Pantry for Pasta with Cauliflower

Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid Premium California Dried Figs are a pantry staple in so many of our customers’ kitchens—both the Mission Figs with their familiar jammy sweetness and the delicately nutty sweetness of Golden Figs.

This recipe by Cook’s Country is a new kind of weeknight classic where a well stocked pantry and a little bit of produce make dinner a cinch. Keeping several kinds of pasta on-hand can offer different ways to bring dinner together. A few to keep on-hand include orzo (for cold pasta salad or side dishes), macaroni or penne (for homemade mac and cheese), orecchiete (particularly good as a pasta with sausage), and even linguine (toasted walnut and gorgonzola pasta, anyone?).

Dried pasta might be the definition of a last minute dinner. Boil a pot of salted water and in minutes, it’s done. A simple swap with deep benefits would be to go with whole grain pasta to get extra fiber in and that’s where the Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Cauliflower recipe comes in. The whole wheat noodles offer a toothsome chew and a nuttiness that complements the pan-roasted cauliflower.

Cauliflower is such a versatile ingredient that is available especially in the autumn and winter, but many stores stock it year-round. It carries the flavors of whatever it’s with beautifully and can make naysayers fans when roasted. Find ideas for this cruciferous veggie in a spicy side dish, as cauliflower rice, and even on pizza.

Quick + Easy Pasta Night: Spaghetti with Cauliflower

Spaghetti night isn’t always about meatballs, but you could always try these Moroccan meatballs to switch things up. Other ideas include the vegetarian main dish, creamy lemon butter sauce spaghetti where the Golden Figs really shine in their delicate nutty sweetness. Or, here’s another idea for spaghetti—making a bacon fig jam that gets simmered into a creamy sauced spaghetti and peas. Easy peasy.

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Cauliflower and California Figs

Combine whole wheat spaghetti with cauliflower for an easy dinner. Toss pasta with cauliflower and figs in this new family favorite.
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Cauliflower and California Figs
Servings 4


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 6 anchovy fillets finely minced (about 1 tablespoo(see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Table salt
  • 1 small head cauliflower cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 cup chopped Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs about 6 ounces
  • 1/2 cup walnuts toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon see note
  • 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti see note
  • 1 ounce grated Pecorino Romano cheese about 1/2 cup


  • Combine 4 tablespoons oil, garlic, anchovies, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in small bowl; set aside
  • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add cauliflower and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Push cauliflower to sides of skillet to create 3-inch clearing; add oil-garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir to combine garlic mixture with cauliflower, add the dried figs and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove skillet from heat and stir in walnuts, parsley, and lemon juice.
  • Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water; cook until al dente. Reserve ¾ cup pasta cooking water, drain pasta, and return pasta to Dutch oven.
  • Add sauce and reserved cooking water to pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt to taste. Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with cheese, and serve immediately.


NOTES: The anchovies add tremendous flavor to this dish without imparting fishiness; do not omit them. Adjust the amount of lemon juice to suit your taste.
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Recipe provided by Cook’s Country TV. Valley Fig Growers is a proud sponsor of Cook’s Country TV.
Photography by Annelies Zijderveld

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