Crusty Baked Shells & Cauliflower

I originally learned how to cook by hanging out with my mother in the kitchen growing up. I learned her basics, her specials for the holidays and her one famous chocolate cake. I have veganized many of her recipes but I am always looking for new ideas.How about this one from the Barefoot Contessa?! I love the way Ina Garten cooks.

She makes easy yet elegant food and much of the time, very veganizable. This is my version of her Crusty Baked Shells and Cauliflower. The flavors are super delicious together. Capers! lemon! and ricotta cheese! Oh my!I like to make these directly in bowls that I can bake in the oven.
You would probably have to double the recipe for a 8×8 baking dish.

Crusty Baked Shells & Cauliflower

Servings 2 bowls


  • 4 oz. shells
  • 1/2 small head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp capers drained
  • A few shakes garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • seasoned breadcrumbs
  • olive oil for sauteing and garnish
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.

  2. Get the shells going and cook until just before al dente, about 8 minutes.

  3. While the pasta is going, chop the cauliflower into little florets, about the size of the shells and sautรฉ it in a little oil until it starts to soften and get brown, about 5 minutes.

  4. Drain the pasta (reserve some pasta water) and add to the cauliflower.

  5. Add the capers, garlic powder, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt, to taste. Add some pasta water to develop a light sauce.

  6. Stir in the ricotta and distribute it evenly.

  7. Divide into your baking bowls or turn out into a baking dish.

  8. Top with breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is browned and crispy. Enjoy!



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