1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1 Vidalia or white onion
3 anchovies, optional
1 (14.5-ounce) can vegetable broth
1/4 cup good-quality white wine
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1 head cauliflower
1 bunch asparagus
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
12 Roma tomatoes, blanch, de-skinned, seeded, and chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 pound Penne Rigate pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano
Fill a large stockpot with cold water and place over high heat.
Pour olive oil in a large saucepan and turn the flame on low. Mince the garlic and add to olive oil, let cook until just starting to brown. Slice the onion and add to the garlic and olive oil. Add 3 anchovies to the pan and mash them until they disintegrate.
Next, add the vegetable broth and white wine. Turn the flame up to medium-low, and allow the broth and wine mixture to reduce for a couple minutes.
Take the head of cauliflower and peel away the green leaves. Cut off the stalks and discard. Chop the cauliflower crowns into bite-sized pieces, set aside. Add the chopped cauliflower to the onion/garlic mixture, and season with red pepper flakes, to taste. Reduce the heat back to medium, and let the cauliflower cook, stirring frequently.
Snap the asparagus in half and cut into bite size pieces on the diagonal. Add the asparagus and the peas and cook for about 5 minutes. When the asparagus is almost tender, add the tomatoes. The tomatoes should stay chunky, so do not cook too long, or stir the sauce too much because the tomatoes tend to fall apart. Add toasted almonds and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat.
When the pasta water comes to a rolling boil, add some salt and then the pasta. Keep the heat on high. Cook pasta until firm to the bite, al dente. Drain and transfer pasta to a warm bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil, and gently toss. Then add the sauce and gently toss again.
Garnish with Parmesan or Romano and serve.
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