Sicilian Style Roasted Cauliflower with Penne

By October 18, 2012Dinner, Lunch, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetables

Growing up I never liked cauliflower but as I have grown to love it.  This is a great dish, quick, easy and flavorful with Sicilian tradition.  You could also add broccoli, sausage, or shrimp.  I hope you enjoy it.

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1 head cauliflower
¼ cup pancetta diced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
juice of ½ lemon
1 ½ tsp lemon zest    
1/4 cup white raisins
¼ white wine
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup bread crumb
Salt and pepper
¼ to ½ cup grated Romano Cheese
1lb Penne pasta


Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Cut the cauliflower into medium size florets add toss with ¼ cup olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Put into a roasting pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

In a small sauté pan add the bread crumb, sprinkle of grated cheese and 3tbsp of olive oil.  Mix together on medium to high heat in order to incorporate the ingredients and toast the bread crumb. Then set aside to cool. In a bowl combine the raisins and wine and allow to steep for 15 minutes, then drain.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil ready to cook the pasta. In a large sauté pan, over high heat, add the olive oil, pancetta, and cook until slightly crispy.  Next, add the garlic, and cook until golden brown. Put the Penne into the pot of boiling water.
At this point the cauliflower should be tender and browned, add to the sauté pan along with the raisins and pine nuts. Cook the pasta until al dente then drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Add the pasta to the cauliflower mixture; lower your flame to medium heat. Toss the pasta and cauliflower together with the grated Romano cheese.  If the dish seems a little dry, add a little of the pasta water. Put into serving bowl and top with toasted bread crumb and finish with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Enjoy!