Whole Grain Pasta with Cauliflower
- 1 small head cauliflower, cored
- 8 ounces whole wheat rigatoni or other short shape
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts or slivered almonds
- 3 strips lemon zest (removed with a vegetable peeler)
- Small pinch each fennel seeds and red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 small garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 anchovy fillets (optional)
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
1. Bring a large, heavy pot of water to a boil, salt it well and add the cauliflower. Cover and simmer until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Keeping the water at a boil, use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower to a colander and break it up into small pieces.
2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside, then drain the pasta in the colander with the cauliflower in it.
3. Return the pot to medium-high heat. When dry, add the olive oil, pine nuts, lemon zest, and fennel and red pepper (if using). Cook, stirring, until the pine nuts begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the raisins, garlic and anchovies (if using) and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to color, and the anchovies have fallen apart, 1 more minute.
4. Add the pasta and cauliflower to the pot along with 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and cook, stirring, until the ingredients are well combined, about 1 minute. Add a little more pasta water if the mixture seems dry.
5. Garnish with the parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately with lemon wedges.