Meyer Lemon + Bacon Bucatini Pasta with Kale and Cauliflower

Dinner, Quick and Easy

Bacon Pasta with Meyer Lemon and Cauliflower,

I love a quick pasta, don’t you? It’s the perfect thing to have in your back pocket when it’s cold and chilly outside. I’m not gonna lie, I sometimes struggle with making these quick pastas interesting. A lot of times it’s just boring red marinara sauce and cheese. But Josh is great at this, grabbing ingredients out of our produce drawers and combining foods together that I wouldn’t normally think of.

This pasta is a play off of a pasta he threw together a few months ago. It has cauliflower, lots of lemon, sautéed kale and best of all…bacon.

For this post, I teamed up with Pure Farmland Bacon which is all-natural and free from antibiotics, preservatives and MSG, so you can feel good about incorporating this savory bacon into any meal, including this pot of pasta.

I made it my favorite way to make bacon…by baking it at a high temperature.

To make things easy, I baked them on a rack on one side of a baking sheet and on the other is the cauliflower. After 17 minutes the bacon was crispy and delicious.

Better yet, Pure Farmland also has teamed up with American Farmland Trust, which is an initiative to protect American farm and ranch land and support and promote sound farming practices in the U.S. To further Pure Farmland’s commitment to provide consumers with sustainable, socially conscious products, now through December 31, 2019, for every specially-marked Pure Farmland item purchased, Farmland will preserve one square foot of American farmland, up to $140,000.

I had the pleasure of visiting Underwood Family Farm in Camarillo, California a few weeks ago and can’t wait to share with you all about my visit and an another recipe inspired by my trip that uses their produce!

But for now, pasta…and a quick one, too. Of course, there are other ingredients, too, like fresh Italian parsley, a whole lot of crushed red pepper and some anchovy paste, which adds a nice brininess but is very optional.

I used a bucatini pasta but recipe tested this with rigatoni and it was splendid. So I like to think that this is the best type of recipe: a flexible one.

Meyer Lemon + Bacon Bucatini Pasta with Kale and Cauliflower

5 from 3 votes
Meyer lemon pasta (bucatini) with kale, cauliflower and crispy bacon. 
CourseMain Course
Keywordbacon pasta, fast pasta, meyer lemon pasta, pasta, quick pasta
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serving Size: 2
Calories: 680kcal


  • 4 slices Pure Farmland All-Natural Uncured Bacon
  • 1/4 head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1/4 cup, , divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch of kale, minced
  • 1 Meyer lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound bucatini, or other pasta of choice


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On one side of a baking sheet, place a cooling rack atop. Lay the bacon side by side on the cooling rack. 
    On the other half of the baking sheet add the florets of cauliflower and toss them with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, until the bacon is golden brown and the cauliflower is lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the bacon to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to drain the bacon. Dice up the bacon into bite-size pieces and set aside.
    In a large saucepan, set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil, butter, anchovy paste, garlic, and red pepper. When the butter has melted, add the kale, and cook on low until softened, turned a bright color green and wilted. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Cover the pot and turn off the heat.
    Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook your pasta according to the package’s instructions, about 9 minutes.
    Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water to the side. Drain the pasta. Pour the pasta water to the butter sauce and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the pasta, along with the Parmesan, Italian parsley and reserved cauliflower; toss until combined.
    Divide the pasta amongst bowls and top with bacon, more parmesan cheese, pinch of crushed red pepper and lemon zest. 

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  • Reply Meyer Lemon + Bacon Bucatini Pasta with Kale and Cauliflower – Site Title February 14, 2019 at 8:37 am

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  • Reply Celia Becker @ February 14, 2019 at 11:46 am

    I happen to have all of these ingredients in my kitchen needing to be used soon, including a bushel load of Meyer lemons from a friends tree. Sadly Meyer lemons have such a short shelf life, so thank you for giving me another way to use them. This recipe looks so delicious, I’m anxious to try it. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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  • Reply sabrina February 16, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    really nice kinda pasta carbonara recipe love the cauliflower, love these flavors, so thank you for this beautiful dish

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  • Reply Bee February 22, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Oooh! I just found your blog and I love it!

    I love so many of your kitchen objects… could I ask where that white-coated wooden spoon is from? And that olive oil cruet?

    Thank you!!

  • Reply Jeri Van Osten March 2, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    I made this and it’s absolutely delicious!
    I found that I’d want to double the amount of cauliflower florets , reduce the oil and butter by half, and decrease the amount of pasta…. Also at least by half.
    I made sure to cut out the tough stems of the kale leaves prior to roughly chopping them.
    Thank you for this recipe. I’ll make it often.

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