Plate Expectations: Saffron and cauliflower pasta

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Plate Expectations: Saffron and cauliflower pasta

Our in-house chef Denise Phillips cooks up her latest delicious treat!

Saffron and cauliflower pasta
Saffron and cauliflower pasta

A quick tasty pasta dish is always welcome.  I love this Sicilian style combination with cauliflower, pine nuts, raisins and tomatoes.


  • 1 large cauliflower – cut into florets
  • 50g raisins
  • ½ teaspoon loosely packed saffron strands
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic – peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
  • 225g tubular pasta – such as penne, rigatoni
  • 5 large plum tomatoes – skinned or used tinned – roughly chopped
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley


  1. Cover the raisins with boiling water and set aside.
  2. Put the saffron into another small bowl and cover with 4 tablespoons hot water and leave to soak.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cauliflower florets and fry for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until they are just softened.
  4. Sprinkle over the garlic, then cook for 1 minute more stirring. Mix the tomato paste with 100ml warm water and add to the cauliflower mixture.
  5. Cover the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes until the cauliflower is just tender
  6. In a separate saucepan bring salted boiling water to the boil, add the pasta and cook for 7 -8 minutes until al dente.
  7. Drain the raisins and add to the cauliflower with the saffron and its soaking water.
  8. Stir in the tomatoes, turn up the heat and cook for 3 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  9. Season to taste and stir in the pine nuts and parsley.
  10. When the pasta is cooked, drain well and stir in the cauliflower sauce. Toss well and serve.

Preparation time: 20 mins, Cooking time: 25 mins, Serves: 4


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