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.
- 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.