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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.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • user-528479 | 01/29/2018

    This recipe is an all time favorite in our house and is part of the regular rotation. I use the full 16 oz of rotini because what else are you going to do with 4 oz of extra pasta. The amount of cauliflower is never exact either but the proportions seem to work. The anchovies, the pepper flakes, the currants and the panko all provide layers of flavor and texture that make this dish a delight. My one note is that browning the panko always takes me more than three minutes - but that's just a quibble.

  • user-3002259 | 01/18/2018

    Note the recipe calls for 12 oz of rigatoni although most pasta comes in 16 oz (1 lb). I liked the idea of this recipe but was disappointed in the eating of it.

  • 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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