Viaggiando con Bea is one of the Italian blogs that I follow to get inspiration and feedback on my Italian recipes directly from the source. A while ago she published a recipe for a Sicilian side dish with cauliflower called Cavolfiore affucatu. I served it as a pasta dish instead, and when I told Bea she said that she prefers to prepare pasta with cauliflower in a different way. I asked her how, and that is how today’s recipe came about.
It is very Sicilian with besides pasta and cauliflower all the usual suspects as ingredients: pine kernels, raisins, breadcrumbs, anchovies, and Sicilian pecorino. The pasta shape used for this is called mezze maniche rigate, or half ribbed sleeves. Except for a small difference in size they are identical to mezzi rigatoni. If you can’t find either of them, penne rigate will also do the trick.
I don’t make pasta gratin often, so this was very nice for a change. This is yet another tasty pasta dish that is easy to prepare. Here’s what I did, inspired by Bea’s suggestion.
150 grams (.33 lb) mezze maniche rigate
400 grams (.9 lb) cauliflower florets
6 anchovy fillets, minced
2 Tbsp pine kernels
2 Tbsp raisins, soaked in warm water
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly grated pecorino cheese, preferably Sicilian