We came across a package of tri-colored cauliflower, and we got inspired to find a recipe that was a bit different than our usual steamed, roasted, or sauteed cauliflower.  We wanted to highlight the color and flavor of these amazing looking vegetables, and create a satisfying main dish that fits our new vegetarian diet.

This recipe uses the Sicilian concept of sweet/spicy/salt/sour.  And it’s simple, and delicious.  Even though Calabria is not strictly Sicilian, we add some of the Serious Foodie Calabrian Pepper Relish to spice up the dish – the Sicilians also love their spicy peppers.

Sicilian-Style Pasta with Cauliflower

The real trick to this recipe, and most pasta recipes, is to make sure that the pasta is cooked a bit less than al dente. Adding the pasta to the sauce, and simmering for 5 minutes, will infuse a lot of flavor into the pasta.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 3/4 lbs. Whole grain pasta We use the Ancient Grains version with brown rice and quinoa.
  • 1 tablespoons Kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cups Cauliflower Cut into florets
  • 3 large shallots pealed, cut into julienne slices
  • 2 cloves fennel julienn slices
  • 1/2 cup white wine preferably Soave or Pinot Grigio
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Serious Foodie Calabrian Pepper Relish
  • 1 tablespoon rinsed capers Optional
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins Optional
  • 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano Parmesan cheese also works


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, then salt it generously. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly tougher than al dente. Save 2 cups of pasta water for the sauce.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, shallots, and fennel, then cook while stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is well browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, saute for 1 minute, then immediately add the white wine. Add 1/2 cup of pasta water, bring to a simmer, and cook until you get the desired cauliflower texture - no more than 5 to 6 minutes. Add the raisins, and capers, then add the pasta and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add more pasta water as necessary to get the desired sauce. Remove from the heat and add parsley.
  • Plate the pasta, then add the cheese and drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil.

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