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Mama’s Kitchen: Pasta With Cauliflower

pasta with cauliflower

While reading the Sunday Times, I came across a recipe for Pasta with Cauliflower by the Minimalist.  Though I love simple dishes, I found the recipe to be too simple (and the comments confirmed my thoughts) so I added a few embellishments namely anchovies (don’t be afraid), lemon zest and red pepper flakes.  The family – even the Tiny Dancer – loved the way this turned out and I’ll definitely be adding this to my dinner rotation.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


1 head cauliflower, about 1 pound
Salt and black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound penne, fusilli or other cut pasta
3 anchovies
lemon zest of 1 lemon
red pepper flakes, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Trim the cauliflower, and divide it into florets. Add about a tablespoon of salt to the water, and boil the cauliflower in it until it is tender but not mushy. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove the cauliflower and set it aside. When it is cool enough to handle, chop it roughly into small pieces.

2. Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet over medium-low heat, melt anchovies into the olive oil. When the anchovies have disappeared, add the garlic and lemon zest in the olive oil, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden. Start cooking pasta in same pot and same water as was used for the cauliflower.

3. When the garlic is ready, add the cauliflower to skillet, and turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally. Season with red pepper flakes to desired hotness. When pasta is al dente drain the pasta.

4. Add pasta to skillet containing the cauliflower, and toss with a large spoon until they are well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Serve with a generous helping of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Buon Appetito!

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