Penne with sauteed cauliflower, anchovies, and capers

Anchovies again?? Yup,  I know some of you are cringing and rolling your eyes and some of you are doing your happy dance! Hey you non-anchovy eaters–maybe if I bombard you with enough anchovy recipes you’ll finally give in and try one? Wishful thinking?

My pasta-obsessed dad cooked this for me when he was staying at my house a couple of nights ago and despite being in a foul mood (shit happens) I really enjoyed the dish. Thanks, Dad!

Here’s what you need:

Penne pasta–about 3/4 of a box of Barilla

2 cups of cauliflower florets, blanched (boil for 3-5  minutes and then plunge in an ice bath to stop them from cooking)

2 anchovy fillets

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

a handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 tbsp capers


Here’s what you do

Put some salted water to boil for the pasta.

Blanch the florets. Drain them from the ice bath.

In a pan over medium heat, pour about 5-6 tbsp of EVOO, after it’s heated toss in garlic and anchovy fillets. Break up the fillets in the pan and mix until they melt into the oil.

Toss in the cauliflower and spread evenly on the pan so it can brown a bit.

Boil your pasta according to directions (i.e. al dente).

After the cauliflower has become tender, toss in the parsley and capers.

Combine the pasta and sauce. Top with parmigiano reggiano if desired.

Happy cooking!


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Categories: Pasta/Italian, Recipes

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7 Comments on “Penne with sauteed cauliflower, anchovies, and capers”

  1. October 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    Thanks for this !

  2. Elizabeth Shewan
    October 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    so what does one substitute for anchovies????

    • FoodieMel
      October 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

      Hmmmm, I don’t really think there is a substitute! You can soak the anchovy fillets in milk for about 10 minutes to lessen the intensity. However I suggest you just try them normally and see if you like it. The anchovy literally melts away so there are no big chunks and it really gives the dish a nice flavor depth! Let me know 🙂

  3. October 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Anchovies are so totally underutilized. They add great depth to so many things!

    • FoodieMel
      October 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      I completely agree! So many people are afraid of them but they really add such a great flavor to dishes! 🙂

  4. October 12, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Looks Delish!

    • FoodieMel
      October 12, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Thanks! It was very good!

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