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Sicilian Purple Cauliflower Cavatappi



  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large head purple cauliflower, florets separated and cut in to small pieces, stems chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 anchovy filets
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 small cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • zest of half lemon
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • kosher salt
  • 1 pound cavatappi pasta(or fusillior or ecchiette)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmiggiano or Grana Padano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Soak the raisins in white wine or water until plump, about 10 minutes. Drain, set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, trim the cauliflower florets, cutting away as much stem as possible. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower in a few batches until the pieces are approximately pea-sized.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is just about to smoke, add the onions and stir to coat. Stir the onions often until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes, then add the anchovies.
  5. Cook onions and anchovies another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring; mash anchovies with a wooden spoon.
  6. Add the pine nuts, raisins, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and half of the parsley. Cook, stirring, until the pine nuts are golden, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the cauliflower to the skillet, stir to combine evenly. Season with salt. Cook and stir frequently until the cauliflower has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Cover; set aside.
  8. Add the cavatappi (or other pasta) to the large pot of boiling salted water and cook to al dente.
  9. Return the cauliflower to medium-high heat. Add 1⁄3 cup of the pasta water and bring to boil.
  10. Drain the pasta and combine it with the cauliflower. Toss. Add the grated cheese and toss again.

Top with remaining chopped parsley; serve immediately.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!