Cauliflower Puttanesca

Mmmmmm … Via Rachel Eats column in the Guardian.

Serves 4

  • 1 medium-size cauliflower
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small dried chilli [or a pinch of red pepper flakes– like ½ tsp?]
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained [or you can sub anchovy paste–about 1 ½ tsp or to your taste]
  • 1 heaped tbsp salt-packed capers
  • 100g pitted black olives (ideally taggiasca or gaeta) [I used kalamata]
  • 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped, or 400g tinned tomatoes in juice
  • A small handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. Pull away the tough outer leaves of the cauliflower, saving any pale tender ones. Cut the stalk from the cauliflower and divide the head into small florets. Cook the florets in well-salted, fast boiling water until tender, adding the leaves in the last few minutes of cooking, then drain.
  2. Peel and finely chop the garlic along with the chilli. Warm the olive oil in a deep frying pan over a low heat and then add the garlic, chilli and anchovies, and while they sizzle gently, press the anchovies with the back of a wooden spoon so they disintegrate into the oil.
  3. Rinse the capers and chop them, then add them to the pan along with the olives and tomatoes. Stir and cook over a medium-low heat for 15 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of the wooden spoon. Taste and add salt if necessary, also a little sugar if you think the sauce is too acidic.
  4. Add the cauliflower and stir so each floret is well-coated with sauce. If you can, leave the dish to sit for at least an hour, and up to a day. When ready to eat, reheat gently, turning the florets in the sauce. Just before serving, finish with a handful of chopped parsley.

[I served it over pasta, but you can eat it straight up if you like!]

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