cooking · Dinner

Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower

Earlier this week I was reading a favorite section of the Seattle Times, All You Can Eat,  and there was an interview with Michael Natkins of Herbivoracious. At the end was a recipe for Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower from his newly released cookbook, Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes. I adapted the recipe a bit to my taste – whole grain spaghetti and I used walnuts instead of pine nuts. The taste though? Amazing. Fresh. Vibrant. It all works together. This was a recipe to keep!

Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower


  • 13.25 ounce multigrain spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and broken into small florets
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced (4 cloves)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced (about ½ cup juice)
  • 2 small lemons, juiced (about 3 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp capers, drained
  • ¼ cup organic raisins, plumped in hot water and drained
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of water to boil (salted if desired). Add the cauliflower, let boil for 5 minutes, scoop out the cauliflower with a slotted spoon into a colander to drain. Cook spaghetti for time on package, reserve one cup of cooking water, drain pasta.

Heat a large skillet over high, add in the walnuts and shake gently until toasted, set aside to cool and chop up. Add the oil, garlic, fennel and red pepper flakes. Fry for 20 or so seconds (be wary, it can splatter). Add the drained cauliflower and salt, toss to coat with the oil. Let cook, tossing periodically, until it starts browning. When it smells great and is browning, right at the end, add in the orange and lemon juices, half the orange zest, capers and raisins.  Turn down to medium, immediately add in the pasta and ¼ cup of the cooking water, toss to coat. Add pepper to taste and sprinkle on Parmesan and nuts, tossing to coat.

Take off the heat, dish up and sprinkle more cheese and the remaining zest on top.

Serves 4.


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