Definitely excited to try this for New Year’s Day.  I feel very Italian – first time we’ve ever tried pasta for a holiday meal.  This came from Martha Stewart Living, October 2011.

Note from the website:  Orecchiette are adept at catching the small bits of sweet potato and bacon in this dish, but any shell pasta will work.

Prep time:  15 min

Total time:  45 min

Serves:  4


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 ounces bacon, preferably slab, chopped

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed into 1 1/2-inch florets (about 2 1/2 cups)

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 8 ounces orecchiette

  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces), plus more, shaved, for garnish

  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Reserve drippings.

  2. Toss sweet potato, onion, and cauliflower with reserved drippings. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until tender and caramelized, about 35 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot with cooking water, and toss with grated cheese and vegetables. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle bacon over top. Garnish with shaved cheese.