Italian Recipes/ Main Course/ Pasta

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Raisins, Pine Nuts and Parmigiano

Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower
Sicilian pasta with cauliflower fills my needs. Loaded with lots of umami and great sweet and spicy flavor, this classic dish is one you will want to try.

Sicilian Pasta in a Blue Dish

I love pasta and cauliflower and this cauliflower with pasta is one of my favorite ways to use it!

This classic Sicilian pasta, Pasta con Cavolfiore, with raisins and pine nuts, anchovies and saffron is a great way to get everyone to eat their veggies.

Feel free to use Romanesco cauliflower if you like. I just used the usual and it turned out amazing.  

Anchovies have you worried? Trust me on this! You will never know the anchovies exist once this sauce is pulled together. They lend so much flavor that you don’t want to leave them out of this cauliflower pasta recipe.

Cauliflower Pasta

Don’t have a can of anchovies? Then use a big dollop of anchovy paste. I always have this in the fridge for when the urge to make Caesar Salad strikes!

What makes this Sicilian pasta? Perhaps it’s the saffron which gives a delicate and intricate flavor to this pasta. 

The raisins add sweetness and if you don’t have those, currants can be used instead. The balance of anchovies and raisins makes that special salty sweet flavor that I so adore. And if you want it a little more salty try adding a spoonful of capers.

No campanelle pasta? Use spaghetti. I just love this hand bell shaped pasta with the ruffly edges because it reminds me of cauliflower florets. Also it holds sauce very well.

Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower

When you are making pasta this special using authentic ingredients always makes everything taste better. In this case there is nothing like real Parmigiano-Reggiano. To know if your Parmigiano is the real thing the rind should be stamped in pin dots forming the words, “Parmigiano-Reggiano.”

Sold in 85 lb wheels, each wheel carries a number and a production date in the same pin dots.

I always have a wedge in the fridge and make sure to buy it at my favorite Italian grocery-Costco!

Real Parmigiano Reggiano is amazing and that’s no lie. Truthfully I love eating it all by its lonesome, but there is nothing like the real thing added to pasta.

Save the parmigiano rinds to make broth for soup. Lesson here: Do not throw away those rinds. They are great thrown into soup pots or risotto or beans. The rinds add a ton of flavor to food, so don’t waste them.

Campanelle Pasta with Cauliflower and Raisins

Today on September 8th, it is actually snowing here in Denver. Though this is an old post, I thought it high time I update it. Pasta sounds wonderful on this cold Fall day and since I have a cauliflower that needs a home, I thought this sounded perfect.

(Below is the original version from March 24. 2015.)

 As I said Passover is getting close, which means no pasta for 8 days. Best get it in now which is exactly what I did. Cauliflowers are gorgeous this season, so what better time than the present to give you this recipe! Mangia!

I’ve had a lot on my plate this week and I wish it was just this pasta. Spring cleaning is in full force since I found out that I am going to have a full house for Passover this year!

It is hard to believe that Alex came home last Thursday night from China; I know; and he already left! He is though, due back again today!

I am choosing to believe that he came home to see us, though he left less than 12 hours later to join his Bucknell Ski team buddies in Utah for a ski team reunion. Well, he is staying for Passover and I should count my blessings!

It was less than two weeks ago that he decided to return and in that time Zoe decided she must come from Philly to see her bro, and my parents decided to come up from Phoenix, because God knows when they might see him again! He is so popular, isn’t he?

Cauliflower Pasta with Raisins and Pine Nuts

And Zoe is bringing THE boyfriend, and her friends and the rest of the famille can’t wait to check him out. (OK. He is very nice and I know him, but we will see how well he holds up under pressure, though I’m not too worried because he has held up under Zoe!) Wow. That was a long sentence.

The family will be together again this Passover which leaves me frantic and happy and may miracles never cease. And speaking of miracles…I was in shock the other day when I knocked THIS glass off the counter and it landed just as you see it.

That’s a miracle, isn’t it? I was ready for the shatter and looking to make sure the dog was out of the way, and then I peeked and this is what I saw. I have never, EVER had this happen!

Green Counter with Blue Glass

So short of not breaking a glass, I decided this cauiflower pasta was a bit of a miracle too! With just a few ordinary ingredients, OK maybe not saffron, this tasty pasta becomes dinner in no time!

More Great Recipes:

 
 
Linguini with white clam sauce
 

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce

Wild Mushroom Grilled Pizza

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

A Few Things I used to make this Sicilian Pasta:

Though I don’t have this pasta pot, I have one similar. The lift out strainer really makes it easy to cook pasta. Saffron is something I don’t use often but I love having it on hand when I need it. It makes everything taste incredible and Spanish saffron is considered the best. Campanelle Pasta looks like this! Trader Joe’s was out of pine nuts, so Costco saved me again. I think I have a lifetime supply!

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Cauliflower Pasta

 

 
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Cauliflower with Pasta

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Raisins, Pine Nuts and Parmigiano

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Oven/Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian/Sicilian

Description

This Sicilian cauliflower pasta with raisins and pine nuts is sweet and savory and good. Truly a classic dish!


Scale

Ingredients

2 c cauliflower florets

20 Baby tomatoes

Coarse Salt

23 T olive oil

12 oz campanelle pasta, cooked according to package directions in salted water (I like this shape because it is shaped like cauliflower)

1/31/2 c golden raisins softened (Just cover them with hot water until soft)

1 pinch saffron, blended into 1 T hot water

4 chopped anchovies in oil

4 minced garlic cloves

1/41/2 t crushed red pepper flakes

1 T butter

1/4 c pasta water

3 T pine nuts (toasted if you prefer)

1/4 chopped Italian parsley

1/3 c Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated


Instructions

Preheat oven to 425.

Begin by preparing your tomatoes and cauliflower for roasting. Lin a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up. Toss veggies with oil and salt and place in oven. Do not crowd your pan or it will take longer for vegetables to brown!ย  A convection oven or air fryer could do this job faster.ย  You can do these in two separate pans if you want.

Cook your pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta and then set it aside.

Cover your raisins with water and let soften.

Let saffron dissolve a bit in hot water, too.

Heat anchovies in skillet over medium heat and cook with garlic until they break up. (I will be honest. I do not like anchovies out of the can. Cooking them to make sauce though is divine!)

Add the saffron, red pepper flakes and butter after garlic is soft. Stir in your pasta water.

When cauliflower and tomatoes are roasted, stir them into the pasta and add anchovy mixture and drained raisins.

Garnish with pine nuts, parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano. Enjoy!

 


Notes

Feel free to use a spoonful of capers if you like and don’t be worried about using a different shape of pasta!

Keywords: cauliflower with pasta. cauliflower pasta. cauliflower pasta recipes, pasta with anchovies, Sicilian Pasta, Sicilian cauliflower pasta

 
 

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75 Comments

  • Reply
    Chef Mimi
    September 9, 2020 at 6:07 am

    This is a fabulous dish. I love Sicilian pastas when they have obviously been influenced by Northern Africa. My favorite is Nigellaโ€™s pasta Trapanese. No cooking involved, and the most fascinating flavors. Itโ€™s funny how well raisins work in pasta!

    • Reply
      Abbe
      September 18, 2020 at 9:40 am

      Thanks Mimi! I love the contrast of the sweet and salty!

  • Reply
    Holly
    September 8, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    What a perfect pasta when you need a warming meal like on a night like tonight. I am lucky to have all the ingredients on hand. Hooray!

    • Reply
      Abbe
      September 18, 2020 at 9:41 am

      Enjoy Holly! I love nights that make you just want to snuggle up with a good comfort dish!

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Mama
    March 30, 2015 at 3:32 am

    I already subscribe.

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Mama
    March 30, 2015 at 3:31 am

    I love it on Pasta with a little butter.

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Mama
    March 30, 2015 at 3:29 am

    I follow you on pinterest. I am switching my name so it's either under Wild Goose Tea or Wild Goose Mama.

  • Reply
    Sugar et al.
    March 29, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Such a beautiful plate of food! I love roasted cauliflower in any kind of cuisine or meal but it does taste fantastic particularly with pasta. So glad the glass was intact…definitely a positive sign. Hope you have an amazing time with family.

  • Reply
    Neiddy Ruiz
    March 28, 2015 at 7:28 am

    following you on pinterest as neiddy
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    Neiddy Ruiz
    March 28, 2015 at 7:27 am

    following you on instagram as neiddyruiz
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    Neiddy Ruiz
    March 28, 2015 at 7:27 am

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    Neiddy Ruiz
    March 28, 2015 at 7:25 am

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  • Reply
    Neiddy Ruiz
    March 28, 2015 at 7:23 am

    I like it on pasta dishes.
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  • Reply
    Kelsey
    March 27, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I love the creations and i love the way you cook. delicious!

  • Reply
    GB
    March 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I follow on pinterest.

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    GB
    March 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I like to use it on pasta dishes.
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  • Reply
    Elle
    March 26, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I follow you on Pinterest.

  • Reply
    Elle
    March 26, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I like to use Parmigiano on top of ravioli and lasagna.

  • Reply
    Sandra Meaders
    March 26, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Parmesan Crusted Salmon is one of my favorite ways to use parmesan.

  • Reply
    Juliana
    March 26, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Oh Abbe, this pasta sounds delicious, I never thought in adding raisins into pasta dish…now that I get to think…it must taste awesome, the saltiness of the anchovies, the sweetness of the raisins and the crunchy of the pine nuts…great recipe!
    Hope you are enjoying your week ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    March 26, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I love cauliflower with pasta, who knew? My favorite way to use Parmesan cheese is in a simple cheese and pepper sauce…with so few ingredients, the cheese really shines!

  • Reply
    adam j. holland
    March 26, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Beautiful dish, Abbe!

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    March 26, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Love the look of your pasta dish.I make a similar one..but yours looks so much better!
    As if there was just MORE of everything.
    I love holidays when we are all together.Enjoy..
    Again..no you in my inbox..and when I try to register..it says I already am?
    Conundrum.

  • Reply
    Linda
    March 26, 2015 at 3:19 am

    I follow on twitter

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    Linda
    March 26, 2015 at 3:19 am

    I follow on pinterest

  • Reply
    Linda
    March 26, 2015 at 3:19 am

    I love it on my pasta/spaghetti the most especially with meat sauce.
    [email protected] dot com

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    March 26, 2015 at 12:41 am

    I subscribe!

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    March 26, 2015 at 12:40 am

    This looks so wonderful Abbe. Don't you just love having family in the house! It's so much work but such a blessing. I know you will have an amazing time.

  • Reply
    Rose-Marie
    March 25, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    My favorite use of Parmigiano Reggiano is to make homemade lemon-pepper pasta and use extra-virgin olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano as the sauce – soooo good!

  • Reply
    Anna and Liz Recipes
    March 25, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    We're already and email subscriber!

  • Reply
    Anna and Liz Recipes
    March 25, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    what a delicious pasta dish! Cauliflower is one of our favorite vegetable and we love it with pasta. We LOVE Parmigiano Reggiano and use it all our pesto recipes, along with practically every pasta dish we make!

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    March 24, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Hi Abbe, sounds like you are going to have a full house, love this pasta dish, all my favorites!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 24, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    How amazing that the glass did not break! Did you go out and buy a lottery ticket right away? LOL. What a delicious pasta dish and cauliflower has become quite the popular addition lately. Love it – and Parmesiano Reggiano!

  • Reply
    jacquie astemborski
    March 24, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    already an email subscriber

  • Reply
    jacquie astemborski
    March 24, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    on toast!

  • Reply
    Shaina Wizov
    March 24, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    This sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    March 24, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    this sounds so delicious, Abbe! i love everything in it…especially the parmesan, which i also could eat all on its own with no problem. Have fun this passover! how exciting that everyone's coming to visit.

  • Reply
    Sock Monkey Diva
    March 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I follow you on instagram @alronharper

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    Sock Monkey Diva
    March 24, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I follow you on Facebook Alison Wood Harper

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    Sock Monkey Diva
    March 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I follow you on twitter @sockmonkeydiva

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    Sock Monkey Diva
    March 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I follow you on Pinterest alisonharper44

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    Sock Monkey Diva
    March 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I am an email subscriber [email protected]

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    Sock Monkey Diva
    March 24, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I like to use Parmigiano Reggiano grated on all of the different pastas I make…from lasagna to ravioli to penne!

  • Reply
    Biz
    March 24, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I love your quote at the top that it must be eaten daily! I am lucky in that my store sells the rinds of that cheese – I can usually get 3-5 good size rinds for under $4 – I put them in my lasagna soup and it adds just a bit of nuttiness to the soup. I already follow you everywhere else ๐Ÿ˜€

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    Kristen
    March 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm

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    Abby Wei
    March 24, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Already subscribed!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    March 24, 2015 at 11:47 am

    I love Parmigiano Reggiano!!

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    March 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

    First of all, it was WONDERFUL to see you on Friday—thank you SO darn much for taking the time to come meet my family. You are a gem. Truly. I'm happy that you will have a full house for Passover–a lot of work, but I know you'll love it. So much more I could say (your posts are so packed full of fun), but just wanted to make sure I let you know I am grateful for your friendship. xoxo

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    March 24, 2015 at 7:49 am

    That glass is a sign. Buy a lottery ticket. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I LOVE this pasta. The cheese, the cauliflower, raisins, tomatoes and pine nuts? Winners every one.

  • Reply
    DeniseL
    March 24, 2015 at 4:49 am

    I follow you on pinterest too – deniseleb

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    DeniseL
    March 24, 2015 at 4:48 am

    I'm a subscriber!

  • Reply
    DeniseL
    March 24, 2015 at 4:48 am

    I love Parmigiano Reggiano shaved into a salad (and any other way you can imagine using it).
    [email protected]

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    JC
    March 24, 2015 at 4:43 am

    I follow on Facebook
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    JC
    March 24, 2015 at 4:43 am

    I follow on Pinterest
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    JC
    March 24, 2015 at 4:42 am

    This is How I Cook subscriber.

  • Reply
    JC
    March 24, 2015 at 4:42 am

    I like Roasted Garlic-Parmigiano Broccoli .

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    March 24, 2015 at 4:01 am

    You sure that's made of glass? ๐Ÿ™‚
    This pasta has EVERYTHING I love..a truly comforting and delicious meal, Abbe.

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    Elena
    March 24, 2015 at 3:04 am

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    March 24, 2015 at 3:04 am

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    March 24, 2015 at 3:03 am

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    Elena
    March 24, 2015 at 3:02 am

    I use it when bake lasagna

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    Kitchen Riffs
    March 24, 2015 at 2:22 am

    You've got a lot going on! You'll have a great time with your family. Particularly fun to have Alex and Zoe at home. Plus the boyfriend. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Parmigiano Reggiano is so good, isn't it? One of my favorite cheeses, particularly in anything pasta-related. Good recipe — lots going on in it, and it looks so tasty. Thanks.

  • Reply
    traveler
    March 24, 2015 at 1:32 am

    I use Parmigiano-Reggiano with a frittata and as well with Chicken Piccata. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    traveler
    March 24, 2015 at 1:31 am

    I follow on facebook. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    March 24, 2015 at 1:30 am

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    Nancy
    March 24, 2015 at 1:23 am

    I also follow you on Facebook.

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    Nancy
    March 24, 2015 at 1:22 am

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    March 24, 2015 at 1:21 am

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    Nancy
    March 24, 2015 at 1:21 am

    I like soup cooked with a Parmigiano rind and served with extra Parmigiano grated on top.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    Seyma Bennett Shabbir
    March 24, 2015 at 1:11 am

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    March 24, 2015 at 1:11 am

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    Seyma Bennett Shabbir
    March 24, 2015 at 1:10 am

    I love Parmagiano in my cream,. garlic sauce over pasta.
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