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Orecchiette with Cauliflower


You'll love this tasty pasta dish from Carol McElheney of Elk Grove, California. This recipe calls for cauliflower, anchovies, and red-pepper flakes, a trio of ingredients often combined in classic Italian cooking.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, December 2006


  • 1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 to 3 anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 5 minutes less than package instructions for al dente; add cauliflower. Cook until pasta is al dente and cauliflower is tender, 5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Drain pasta mixture; set aside.

  2. In same pot, heat oil over medium; add garlic, red-pepper flakes, and anchovies. Cook, breaking up anchovies with a spoon, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Add pasta mixture, cheese, and 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid; season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, adding more cooking liquid if necessary to thin sauce. Add parsley; toss. Serve, topped with additional cheese, if desired.

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