Pasta with Broccoli Arriminati is one of my favotite pasta recipes. Tasty green cauliflowers, sweet raisins, pine seeds, savory anchovies, and saffron. Sweet and savory at it best, this is a truly Sicilian dish!
Pasta with Broccoli Arriminati can be served warm, but it will be much tastier if served lukewarm after a few hours or even the day after it is prepared.
2 lb (900 g) green cauliflower
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
crushed red pepper
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 oz (60 g) pine nuts
2 oz (60 g) dark raisins
1/2 teaspoon saffron powder, dissolved in 1 – 2 tablespoons of warm water
1 lb (450 g) fusilli pasta
To clean the cauliflower, cut out the bottom of the cauliflower. Eliminate the tough green leaves. Carve out the center. Cut the cauliflower in half. Separate the florets and cut in 2” (5 cm) pieces. Green tender leaves can be used. Place the pieces in a bowl full of fresh water. Wash and drain
Fill a large stockpot with water and bring it to a boil; add the cauliflower and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is half-cooked and not yet fully tender.
Drain the cauliflower with the help of a large slotted spoon. Reserve the cooking water.
Pour the olive oil in a medium-size saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Add the onion, generous red pepper, and sauté gently until the onion becomes soft and translucent. Turn off the heat. Add the anchovies fillets to the pan.
Quickly stir and break the anchovies with a fork to dissolve them. When adding the anchovies, don’t let them cook. Otherwise they will burn, giving the dish a very strong tang.
Turn the heat to medium, add pine nuts, raisins, saffron . . . .
. . . and cauliflower. Mix to combine and sauté briefly. Anchovies can be very salty, so adjust the salt at this point if necessary. If the sauce is too thick, add about 1 cup of the cauliflower cooking water.
Bring the stockpot with the reserved cauliflower cooking water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in the cauliflower cooking water following manufacturer’s instructions. Taste for readiness from time to time until al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked). Drain and transfer to a bowl. Top with the sauce, toss, and set aside. Serve lukewarm.