Cauliflower and Pasta

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 cup warm water

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 medium head cauliflower, rinsed and trimmed to 1-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

7 anchovy fillets, minced

3 tablespoons capers

1 cup white wine

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound dried rigatoni

10 fresh basil leaves, very thinly sliced

Roasted Pepper, for garnish, recipe follows

Roasted Pepper:

1 yellow or red bell pepper


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pine nuts, and toast, stirring frequently until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside in a small bowl. Place raisins in a small bowl. Cover with 1 cup warm water. Set aside to plump, about 10 minutes. Heat olive oil in the same large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cauliflower, and saute until golden, about 5 minutes. Add pepper flakes, anchovies, capers, and wine. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, drain raisins, discarding water. Add raisins; season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, 10 to 12 minutes, until cauliflower is fork-tender. Uncover, and let liquid reduce slightly over high heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt and rigatoni, and cook until pasta is just tender, about 10 minutes or following label instructions. Drain; toss into warm cauliflower mixture. Just before serving, toss pasta with basil and pine nuts. Garnish with Roasted Pepper.

Roasted Pepper:

  1. Heat a gas burner to high. Place pepper over flame. Roast until blackened all over, turning as necessary. Wrap pepper in a paper towel, enclosing completely. Let steam for 2 minutes. Unwrap, and peel blackened skin from pepper, using a paper towel. Discard skin. Stem, seed and slice pepper.