* 1 large or 2 medium heads cauliflower, cleaned and cut into small florettes
* 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 medium onion, finely diced
* dash red pepper flakes
* 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
* 1/4 cup pine nuts
* 1/4 cup raisins
* 1 pound Fusilli or Penne pasta (or other if preferred)
1. Fill a large pot with water and put on stove, bring to a boil, then carefully add cauliflower and cook, boiling steady but not too hard, for about 5 minutes or until cauliflower is just fork tender. Remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon to a colander (reserve the cooking water in the pot.)
2. In a different large pot over medium-low heat, add the olive oil, onion, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until onion softens.
3. Remove the pot with the onion mixture from the heat and add the anchovy fillets, stirring quickly to incorporate them in onion and olive oil; the anchovies should dissolve somewhat. (Be sure you do not do this over the heat ľ anchovies can burn easily.)
4. Put the pot back on medium-low heat and add the pine nuts, raisins, and cauliflower, stirring to heat through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Anchovies often have enough salt, but taste and add salt if flavor isn't what you desire.
6. You can add a tablespoon or more of the reserved cauliflower cooking water if the sauce seems too dry or thick, stir and set aside, covering to keep warm.
7. Meanwhile, bring the stockpot of cauliflower cooking water back to a boil to cook pasta in (add more water if necessary before boiling.) Cook pasta according to package directions.
8. Drain well and dump pasta into pot with cauliflower and toss to combine.
9. Let sit to absorb flavors for about 5 minutes, stir again and serve warm or room temperature.
10. Sprinkle with grated fresh Parmesan if desired. This will serve about 2 hungry people, or 4 if part of larger meal.
This is a very flavorful dish thanks to the cauliflower, raisins, pine nuts, and of course, the anchovies.
Now, if you don't like anchovies, you can still make this dish. You will just need to make a little salt and oil paste, maybe a 1/2 teaspoon to start. You do this simply by putting sea salt and olive oil in a bowl and mashing it with a small fork until it's combined. You won't get a perfectly smooth paste, but you will get the flavor you need. Add it when you would add the anchovies.
I would toast the pine nuts. Just put them in a dry skillet over low heat and shake the skillet until the pine nuts have started to turn darker in color. Remove them immediately and dump them out of the skillet so they don't continue cooking.
Kids are very likely to enjoy this dish. Eating cauliflower has never been more fun - all you needed was some noodles and raisins to convince them!