Sicilian pasta with cauliflower and tomato cream sauce

I’m in the process of writing a new book about cooking with vegetables so I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to cook with some old favourites. I’m used to putting cauliflower with cream, cheese or spice but not with tomato. This creamy, tomato based cauliflower pasta sauce from Sicily is a revelation and my new favourite supper dish. The chopped parsley and the crunchy breadcrumbs add freshness and crunch – it’s just delicious and inexpensive to boot!

Sicilian cauliflower pasta

Serves 4

  • 25g tin of anchovy fillets in oil
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs or panko crumbs fried and crisped in a little olive oil
  • 1 medium cauliflower, leaves and core removed then broken into small florets
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • 3 tablespoons of sun-dried tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of double cream
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan
  • Finely ground black pepper 
  • Pasta for four – chunky tubes such as tortiglioni or rigatoni

To make…

  • Add the anchovy fillets to a large sauté pan (like a frying pan but with straight sides and a lid) and allow them to liquefy over a medium heat for a few minutes. Pour in the remaining oil from the anchovies and lightly sautée the garlic.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, sun-dried tomato paste, chilli flakes and some water – fill the tomato tin up to halfway. Stir thoroughly and add in the cauliflower. Cook for 20 minutes until the cauliflower softens.
  • Meanwhile, put the pasta on to cook according to the instructions on the pack – usually about 12 minutes.
  • Just before the pasta is cooked, stir the cream, black pepper and parsley to the sauce.
  • Drain the pasta, mix with the sauce, portion into bowls and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
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About Janet Davies @pigeoncottage

Food lover, author, cook!
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