Caserecci with Anchovies and Cauliflower

We revisited this recipe for Pasta with Anchovies and Cauliflower from the gusti archives, and it’s still as delicious as ever! Back when we first posted it in 2013, we had been inspired by Judith Thurman’s poetic words about pine nuts in her piece for the New Yorker. She offers up a recipe for a “sublime yet frugal pasta sauce” with cauliflower, anchovies, raisins, and, of course, pine nuts, that we just couldn’t resist.

Our key deviation from the original recipe as 2023 draws to a close? Now we’re adding capers! While pasta, cauliflower, and breadcrumbs are all delicious, this dish could really use a lift from all that stodginess. The briney acidity of the capers accomplishes this, while the zibibbo raisins really bring out their incredible floral notes. We’ve chosen caserecci for this dish, but other short pasta shapes would also work well. 


TIME: 30 mins



  1. Steam cauliflower florets for about 5 minutes
  2. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with extra virgin olive oil and sauté the onions until they become translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the anchovies by slicing each fillet into 1/2 inch pieces over the skillet. Using a fork, mash the anchovies and add the cauliflower. Let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add a few tablespoons, or more if needed, of broth or hot water. Mix well. Add the raisins, pine nuts, and capers, mix well, and turn off the fire.
  4. Cook the pasta and combine with the contents of the skillet. Add a few spoonfuls of pasta water and mix well. When the dish has reached a creamy consistency, add the breadcrumbs.
  5. Serve hot drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with additional breadcrumbs.

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