Pasta with Spicy Cauliflower

Author:Inspired by Moosewood at Home, pg. 189
Yield:4 to 6 servings
Cook time: 00:30
Category:Main Courses


1 large onion
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cups red wine
2 cups undrained canned Italian plum tomatoes (16-oz. can)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano (1/2 tsp. dried)
1 cups black olives
1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small head cauliflower
1 lb. gnocchi pasta
1/2 cups peas
1 tbsp. capers


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.
  2. While the water heats, sauté the onions in the oil until translucent.
  3. Add the wine and the juice from the tomatoes. Squeeze the tomatoes with you hand to crush them, and add them to the saucepan. Stir in the red pepper flakes and oregano. Slice each olive in half lengthwise and add these to the sauce. Simmer gently, covered.
  4. In a small, heavy skillet, sauté the bread crumbs in 1 tablespoon olive oil, stirring constantly until crisp. Set aside.
  5. Chop the cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces. When the pot of water comes to a boil, ease the cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook another 3 minutes. Remove the cauliflower and peas from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve and add it to the simmering sauce. Add capers and stir well.
  6. Cook the pasta in the same boiling water until al dente. Drain and divide it among warmed individual dishes. top with the sauce. Sprinkle each portion with toasted bread crumbs and parsley (if desired), and serve immediately.