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Pasta with cauliflower and pine nuts

Sicilian cauliflowers are a popular staple food but this delicious pasta combining north african flavors such as pine nuts, black currants and saffron will unlikely appear on a restaurant menu. It also makes a savory side to a Sunday roast.
 

Serves 4

1 cauliflower weighing about 600gms/1 ½ lbs
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup black currants
1/2 Tbsp of  tomato extract or, alternatively ¼ teaspoon saffron
3 anchovy fillets
1 onion, finely chopped
300 gms (1 lb) bucatini, caserecce or rigatoni
Ravida` Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Caciocavallo, pecorino, parmesan cheese finely diced
Cook flowerets and chopped broccoli stems in a pot of boiling salted water until soft.

Drain and reserve the cooking water to cook the pasta or add to sauce.

Soften sultanas in a cup of hot water.

If using tomato extract, dilute tomato paste with three tablespoons of hot broccoli water.

In a large pot, sweat the finely chopped onion in four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a small piece of chilli (optional) under very slow heat. Do not brown, add a bit of broccoli water if needed.

Cream in the anchovy fillets. Add pine nuts and blackcurrants. Stir for 2 minutes.

Add the cauliflower, the tomato paste (or alternatively the saffron) and mix by adding 2-3 ladles of broccoli water. Cook until soft and mushy. Season with salt if necessary.

In the meantime, cook pasta and drain well al dente.

Add to the broccoli and stir over medium heat with a few spoonfuls of broccoli water and a generous pouring of olive oil. Sprinkle with some of the cheese.

Pour into a dish, mix and serve hot.

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Posted in recipes.