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Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower-Pasta chi Vruocculi Arriminati

Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower-Pasta chi Vruocculi Arriminati is a delicious combination of traditional Sicilian ingredients. Cauliflower is combined with exotic flavors like sweet raisins, bright saffron, the crunch of pine nuts and homemade breadcrumbs. Ready in under 30 minutes!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time19 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian, Sicilian
Keyword: cauliflower, pasta, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Lora


  • 1 whole cauliflower roughly chopped into florets, (* I used fioretto)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 ounces stale bread should make about 1/2 cup coarse bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil plus extra to serve (I used extra-virgin Sicilian)
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 4 canned anchovy fillets or anchovy paste optional, optional *if you omit, this pasta is vegan
  • 1/4 cup raisins or currants
  • 1 teaspoon saffron strands
  • 1 pound pasta bucatini, spaghetti, or linguine


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the cauliflower and cook until soft and tender (but not mushy), about 10-15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower and set aside in a large bowl. Turn off the heat and save the water in the pot to cook the pasta.
  • While the cauliflower is cooking, prep the raisins by placing them in a small bowl and covering with warm water to plump them up.
  • In another small bowl, add the saffron and cover with 2 tablespoons of warm water.
  • In a small sauce pan in medium heat, add the pine nuts and toast them until golden brown (keep a good eye on them and be sure to move them around with a wooden spoon so they don’t burn). When nice and golden brown, set them aside in a small bowl.
  • Prep the bread crumbs by cutting the bread into small portions. Add it to a food processor and pulse until you get coarse crumbs.
  • In the pan you toasted the pine nuts, add a tablespoon of olive oil and turn the heat to medium. Add in the bread crumbs. Let them toast up and stir them with a wooden spoon (so that they don’t brown too much on one side). As soon as they are nice and crispy and a dark golden color, place them in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Bring the pot of water that you cooked the cauliflower in to a boil and add more water to the pot (if needed).  When water is boiling, add in the pasta and cook until al dente, following time suggestion on the pasta box.
  • Place a large frying pan on the stove to medium heat and add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil has heated, add in the onion and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes).
  • If you are using anchovies, add them in now and stir them together with the onions. They will break up and melt together with the onions.
  • Drain the raisins and add them in. Also add in the toasted pine nuts. Lower the heat and stir it all together.
  • Add the cauliflower and the saffron water to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to stir it all together, breaking up any large pieces of the cauliflower. Season with salt.
  • When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and reserve a cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta and some of the reserved pasta water to the pan with the cauliflower sauce. Stir everything together. If needed, add some more of the reserved pasta water and stir together with the pan on the heat (be sure not to keep it too long on the heat as you don't want the pasta to overcook and get mushy). Check the seasoning and add more salt, if needed, and freshly ground pepper.
  • Add the pasta to a serving bowl or platter. Drizzle on some really good extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs on top. Serve immediately and ENJOY!