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Rigatoni with Cauliflower, Saffron, and Raisins

This vegetarian pasta dish is popular in Sicily and southern Italy.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 1997


  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 7 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 3 tablespoons capers (optional)
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 cup Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat, or white wine
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, rinsed and trimmed to 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound dried rigatoni
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted


  1. Cover raisins with warm water in a bowl. Cook garlic and oil in a skillet over medium-low heat until garlic begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add pepper flakes, anchovies, capers, saffron, and stock. Stir, cook until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and raisins; season with salt and black pepper. Cook, covered, 10 to 12 minutes, until cauliflower is tender. Uncover; let liquid reduce slightly over high heat, 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, cook rigatoni in salted boiling water until just tender. Drain; toss into warm cauliflower mixture. Just before serving, tear basil leaves, and toss into pasta along with pine nuts.

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