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Rigatoni with Cauliflower, Currants, and Pine Nuts

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

A few minced anchovies give this pasta a deep savory (not fishy) flavor, while toasted breadcrumbs add a crispy element.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 lb.), cut into bite-size florets
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plain panko
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz. dried rigatoni
  • 1 oz. finely grated pecorino romano (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 690
      Fat Calories (kcal): 270
      Fat (g): 31
      Saturated Fat (g): 7
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
      Cholesterol (mg): 15
      Sodium (mg): 850
      Carbohydrates (g): 87
      Fiber (g): 9
      Protein (g): 21


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 500°F. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. In a small bowl, cover the currants with hot tap water and set aside.
  • On a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 3 Tbs. of the oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer. Roast, tossing halfway through cooking, until just tender and lightly browned, 13 to 15 minutes.
  • Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the panko and cook, stirring, until deeply golden, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a small dish; wipe the skillet clean.
  • Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the anchovies and pepper flakes, then add the cauliflower and toss well. Keep warm.
  • Boil the pasta for 1 minute less than package directions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
  • Drain the currants, and add to the pasta with the cauliflower mixture, cheese, and the reserved water. Stir to combine; cover and cook over low heat to let the flavors meld, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with the panko, parsley, and pine nuts.


You can toast pine nuts in the oven or on the stove, but keep a close eye as they can burn quickly.


Rate or Review


  • Kohola | 09/23/2015

    pretty good!!! I omitted the anchovy paste and the currants. That maybe would have added more layers, but other than that this is a very good dish!

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