Spaghetti with Cauliflower, Tomatoes, Capers, and Feta
Serves 4-6 depending on appetite
1 large head of cauliflower, cored and cut into around 1-1/2 inch pieces
6 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste, or two anchovy fillets
1 large pinch red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
¾ cup crumpled feta cheese
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice or red wine vinegar
1 pound spaghetti
Salt and freshly-ground pepper
You’ll need a large non-stick skillet with a lid. A 12-inch pan is good, but if you have a 14-inch pan go ahead and use it because it will allow the cauliflower to brown more easily. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, then add the anchovy paste or fillets and the red pepper flakes. Stir to mix and break up the anchovies. Then add the cauliflower pieces and 1/3 cup of water. When the water starts to boil, cover the pan, lower the heat, and steam the cauliflower for 6-8 minutes, until it’s just tender. Then remove the lid, stir in the oregano, raise the heat and boil away the water. Continue cooking the cauliflower until it’s a nice golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5-10 minutes. Add the grape tomatoes and capers, then cover the pan, take it off the heat, and set it aside while you cook the spaghetti.
Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until it’s done to your liking. Save a cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and put it back in the pot. Pour the cauliflower mixture over, along with the feta cheese, two tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of the lemon juice or vinegar, and a little pepper. Mix everything together, adding some of the reserved pasta water if you need it. Taste for salt and add a bit more lemon juice or vinegar if you like, then serve.