- penne or rigatoni pasta (use 1 lb for every 5 persons)
- a head of cauliflower
- a bottle of tomato sauce
- extra virgin olive oil, q. b. (quanto basta or “as much as you need”)
- a handful of currants (or use raisins..though currants are preferred)
- a handful of pine nuts
- a small onion
- salt, pepper, q.b.
- Parmesan cheese, q.b.
- optional: a couple anchovies, preserved in oil (Signora Vincenza always added a couple anchovies to simmering onion)
- another optional addition: a red chili pepper
Wash cauliflower, cutting into flowerets. Use the leaves, too, cutting into small pieces. Cook cauliflower in salted boiling water and drain when al dente (“to the tooth,” ie, cauliflower should not be soft) – might take less than ten minutes. Save the water in which you cooked the cauliflower – as you will cook the pasta in this water. Dice onion. Simmer diced onion in extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. When onion golden, add steamed cauliflower and simmer a few minutes. Add tomato sauce.
Simmer about ten minutes and then add pine nuts and raisins and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer briefly until sauce thickens a bit.
Cook pasta in boiling cauliflower water, draining when al dente. Season with cauliflower sauce and add pepper as needed.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.