Paccheri pasta with cauliflower and spinach

  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into flowerets
  • 30ml olive oil, plus 30ml olive oil (best quality), for drizzling
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp sliced garlic
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 60ml vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 800g tinned chopped tomatoes (best quality)
  • 3 tbsp capers, with 1 tbsp juice
  • 500g paccheri pasta (large tube) approximately 6.5cm long by 5cm wide
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 50g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 30g chopped Italian parsley leaves
1) Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over a medium heat, then add the salt and cauliflower. Cook the cauliflower for 3 to 4 minutes.

2) Heat 30ml of the olive oil in a large saute pan and saute the garlic and chilli flakes for 1 minute. Remove the cauliflower from the water, reserving the water in the pan. Add the cauliflower to the garlic-chilli mixture. Saute briefly until starting to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.

3) Deglaze the pan with the stock, add in the spinach, cover and leave to wilt for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and capers with juice and reduce the heat. Remove the cover and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

4) Return the cauliflower water to the boil, adding more water, if necessary. Add the pasta add cook to al dente. Remove the pasta from the water and add it to the sauce, adding a little pasta water, if needed.

5) Add the pepper, stir gently to combine, transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with half the cheese. Garnish with the parsley and drizzle the remaining 30ml of olive oil. Serve immediately with the remaining cheese on the side.

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