Pasta with Cauliflower and Pine Nuts, A Traditional Sicilian Dish
This delicious pasta combines cauliflowers a popular staple in Sicily with North African flavors such as pine nuts, black currants and saffron. As with any Sicilian specialty this recipe varies from province to province, we believe that this particular version is rooted in Palermo. It was introduced to Rogers Collection by Chef Justin at the Broadmoor Hotel.
- 1 medium size (1 lb) white or yellow cauliflower
- 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
- 1 pinch chili flake
- 2 tbs dried black raisins or currants
- 2 tbs pine nuts
- 4 Roque Anchovies in Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon saffron stigmas or powder
- 1 lb Gentile Pasta – bucatini or caserecce
- 1 cup freshly grated Ragusano cheese or a mild pecorino (Tuada) or parmigiano (Valserena)
- 1/2 cup Flaminio Fruttato Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Halen Mon pure sea salt to taste
Separate cauliflower florets into similar sized pieces, cut stalks into smaller pieces as they need to cook more than the florets.
Fill a medium sized stockpot with water and bring to boil. Add salt and the cauliflower stalks, boil for 2 minutes and then add remaining florets. Cook about five minutes.
Scoop cauliflower with a perforated spoon onto a separate bowl. Reserve water in the stockpot.
In a cup, cover the saffron stigmas with two spoonful of the hot water.
In a medium sized skillet, warm five tablespoons of oil, add the onion and cook under slow heat until translucent. Stir in dried black raisins, pine nuts, chili flakes and cream in the anchovy fillets.
Stir in the cauliflower, add two ladles of hot water and sea salt to taste, cook over medium heat until soft, 7-10 minutes. Mix in at least a ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil.
The vegetables can be prepared a day in advance.
If cooking on the same day, add more water to the stockpot and bring to boil. Cook pasta to al dente according to package instructions and drain.
Pour pasta back into the stockpot and mix with the cauliflower sauce over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Pour into a large serving bowl, mix in cheese and serve hot.