Cauliflower Puttanesca Recipe

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Cauliflower Puttanesca Recipe

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Adapted from Real Simple.

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:25 minutes


  • 3/4 pound penne or other short pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), broken into small florets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving


  1. 1.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.

  2. 2.

    In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring only occasionally, until golden and well-caramelized, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and a good pinch of salt and pepper and cook for an additional minute until the garlic is fragrant.

  3. 3.

    Add the tomatoes with their juices, olives, and capers. Continue cooking until the cauliflower is soft, but not mushy, about 5 minutes more. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

  4. 4.

    Add the cooked pasta to the cauliflower mixture and toss to combine. Add some of the pasta cooking water and simmer over low heat until the sauce and pasta and cauliflower mixture form into a sauce.Stir in the parsley, then divide the pasta amongst bowls. Serve with Parmesan.