We came across a package of tri-colored cauliflower, and we got inspired to find a recipe that was a bit different than our usual. We wanted to highlight the color and flavor of these amazing looking vegetables, and create a satisfying main dish that fits our new vegetarian diet.
This recipe caught our eye – we love the Sicilian concept of sweet/spicy/salt/sour. This recipe is a slight variation of one that we found on Food Network (click HERE to look at the original version).
The real trick to this recipe, and most pasta recipes, is to make sure that the pasta is cooked a bit less than al dente. Adding the pasta to the sauce, and simmering for 5 minutes, will infuse a lot of flavor into the pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, then salt it generously. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly tougher than al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, shallots, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the cauliflower is well browned, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 2 teaspoons salt, water, vinegar, honey, capers, thyme, bay leaf, fennel seeds, and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is fork tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the raisins, and about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add parsley. Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf.
Plate the pasta, then add the cheese and drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil.