Pasta with Cauliflower, Olives and Almonds

Pasta with Cauliflower

Oh my gosh! It’s been almost a month since my last post. As many of you know, we’ve been busy gearing up to launch Ginger Kitchen Ice Creams, our small batch, homemade ice cream business. Things are going extremely well, but it is taking a lot of our time, so we haven’t been cooking nearly enough. This weekend, while making over 50 pints of ice cream to deliver this week, we managed to squeeze in this tasty meal. We’ve concluded that I love any dish that includes green olives, and this one is no exception. It’s quick, easy, and packed full of veggies and flavor. Topping this with almonds makes for a delightful crunch!


  • 1 1/4 cups sliced green olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch-wide florets (8 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 pound dried elbow macaroni
  • 1 oz. finely grated Pecorino Romano (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds with skin (3 3/4 ounces), coarsely chopped


Heat oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook cauliflower with salt, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and garlic is golden, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in water and boil 1 minute. Add olives and parsley and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water. Drain in a colander and return to pot.

Add cauliflower mixture and toss well, then add cheese and toss again. If pasta is dry, moisten with some reserved cooking water.

Sprinkle pasta with almonds and serve immediately, with additional cheese on the side.



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