Sweet and Spicy Sicillian Pasta with Cauliflower

SAMSUNG CSC

Dishes in Sicily have Arabic influences and many contain that brilliant combination of sweet and spicy flavours. I love the combination of pine nuts and raisins in savoury dishes like spinach and, of course, I also love chilli. I was never keen on the idea of cauliflower or broccoli with pasta until I first cooked this a couple of years ago. It really works. I was lucky enough to find a Romanescu cauliflower in the organic supermarket. It is the green, pointy variety and has a lot of flavour but I have also cooked this with ordinary cauliflower You could try broccoli, although I never have. I used toasted sunflower seeds to replace the pine nuts as they are so much cheaper but they do not taste as food.

Serves 2-3
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes

Ingredients
A small cauliflower cut into small florets
3 medium tomatoes finely chopped
A quarter of a large, red onion finely sliced
A large clove of garlic crushed
100ml white wine
A tablespoon of olive oil
A small handful of raisins
A teaspoon of dried oregano
A tablespoon of toasted sunflower seeds
A tablespoon of red vegan pesto
Half a teaspoon of dried red chilli or more of you like
Chopped fresh basil to serve
Salt and pepper to taste
400g of whole wheat pasta twists

Heat the oil and gently fry the onions, garlic and cauliflower until the onions are soft and starting to caramelise. Add the tomatoes, raisins, oregano, wine, chilli and pesto, bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower is just soft and the sauce is thick. Add the sunflower seeds. Meanwhile cook the pasta. Combine the pasta and sauce and season. Serve with basil to garnish.

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