“Creamy and comforting, with a hit of chilli and lots of lovely herbs to liven it up, this pasta dish is super-satisfying. Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, which your body needs for lots of things, including keeping your teeth and gums healthy. I’ve cooked it here until tender, before mashing it into a gorgeously silky sauce – teamed with mushrooms, it’s a winner of a dish. ”
Fill a large pan with salted water, place on a high heat and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic and onion, then halve, deseed and finely slice the chilli. Pick the thyme leaves.
Trim and slice three-quarters of the mushrooms. Trim the cauliflower, remove and discard the leaves, then chop the cauliflower florets and stalk into small chunks.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide saucepan on a medium heat, add the garlic, onion, chilli and thyme, then cook gently for 10 minutes, or until golden.
Add the sliced mushrooms and cauliflower, cover with a lid and cook gently for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente – this means it’s cooked, but still has a bit of bite.
Meanwhile, pick and finely chop the parsley leaves. Trim and very finely slice the remaining mushrooms.
Once softened, mash the cauliflower mixture with a fork until broken down, but still with a bit of texture. Stir in the ricotta, then season to taste with sea salt, black pepper and the juice from half the lemon.
Reserving a cupful of the cooking water, drain the pasta and return it to the pan, off the heat. Tip in the sauce and stir well, adding splashes of the cooking water to loosen, if needed. Taste and season with salt, pepper and the remaining lemon juice.
Stir in the sliced raw mushrooms, most of the Parmesan cheese and half of the parsley leaves. Serve with the remaining chopped parsley and cheese sprinkled on top.