Spaghetti with Cauliflower

For Michael Psilakis, macaronia ("pasta") has always meant chicken stewed with spaghetti, tomatoes, cinnamon, raisins and pine nuts. Those are the dominant ingredients here, except he's substituted chicken with cauliflower.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6
KEY: Fall, Winter, Fast - Column, Braising, Greek, Italian, Pasta & Noodles, Fast, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dinner, Lunch

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  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 head of cauliflower (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch florets
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup prepared tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

How to make this recipe

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the panko and toast until golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower, garlic and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, vinegar, tomato sauce, tomato paste and raisins and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook until the cauliflower is just tender, 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, salt the boiling water, add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain the spaghetti.
  3. Add the spaghetti to the cauliflower and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, tossing, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Transfer the spaghetti to bowls, garnish with the pine nuts and panko and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy Sicilian rosé.

Contributed By Photo © Ditte Isager Published May 2006

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