Pasta with Cauliflower: Pasta Col Cavolofiore

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
Prep:
50 min
Inactive:
5 min
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 salted anchovies, (canned), rinsed and soaked for 4 to 6 hours
  • 1 tomato, skinned, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon raisins, soaked and drained
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 3 strands saffron
  • 1 pound dried ziti
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Freshly grated caciocavallo
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring 6-quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Divide the cauliflower into florets. Blancy the cauliflower in the boiling water until half-cooked, about 10 minutes. Drain the cauliflower, reserving the cooking water for the ziti. Set the par-cooked cauliflower aside.

Chop and mince anchovies.

Dissolve the saffron strands in a few tablespoons of warm water.

Toss fish, tomato and sliced garlic. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan. Add the raisins, pine nuts, saffron tea, and the anchovies. Using a wooden stir and continue cooking over medium heat until the anchovies dissolve, about 7 minutes. Add half of the cooked cauliflower and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Cover and let cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes.

Lower heat to low and allow to cook, uncovered, while you prepare the ziti. Return the cauliflower water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook halfway, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Add the remaining cauliflower, cover and let stew over medium-low heat until the pasta and cauliflower are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil, chopped parsley and caciocavallo. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


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    I used vine-ripened tomatoes and regret that decision; I will use roma tomatoes next time. It was delicious, and even better the next day!
    this is a dish my mom used to cook for me many years ago and i heavent had it for at least 50 years and its wonderful
    Mario used more of a teaspoon saffron rather than a mere 3 strands, so don't scrimp on this (one can find a good saffron online for only about $37 an ounce - worth seeking out). And the bite of the cacciocavallo (a Sicilian cheese not easily found) makes it delicious.
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