Penne with Cauliflower and Pistachios

Inspired by traditional Sicilian cuisine, this quick and hearty pasta dish blends a handful of ingredients for a simple meal with big flavors. Saffron’s an expensive ingredient, but just a pinch adds unexpected color and nuance.

Casey Barber

Penne with Cauliflower and Pistachios

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    1 pound penne 1 clove large garlic, thinly sliced
    Olive oil 1/3 cup roughly chopped pistachios
    1 pinch saffron (optional) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 small head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized florets


    Prep: 10 min Total:
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    • 1

      Bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente according to package instructions and drain.

    • 2

      While the pasta water comes to a boil, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large, wide-bottomed saucepan or straight-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add the saffron, if using, and cook for 1 minute to release its natural flavor and color into the olive oil.

    • 3

      Add the cauliflower florets and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower softens and starts to turn golden brown. Add the garlic and pistachios and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    • 4

      Stir in the cooked penne and add a splash of olive oil to finish the dish.

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